Tag Archives: rooster

When the Son Rises, It’s Time to Praise Him!

crowing rooster

Until it became obvious to me at our community’s Easter sunrise service a few years ago, I had no idea the population of my town included so many roosters.

Or maybe there aren’t that many. Maybe we have just one or two who’ve been granted the gift of uncommon volume and unflagging energy.

In any case, early on that particular Easter morning, as we stood outside near the tennis courts in the park praising God in our annual Community Easter Sunrise Service, the human worshipers there assembled were not the only ones lifting their voices. So were the local roosters!

I assume those good birds lift their voices every morning at about that time, though I’m not usually out and about to hear it. But they were certainly in fine form that Sunday!

If some way-too-buttoned-up, nay-saying, kill-joy of a rooster was standing lock-jawed by the fence, sullenly and silently deriding his loudly-crowing compadres for their voluminous joy, we certainly weren’t aware of it. I doubt you could actually find a rooster of that depressive and depressing variety. Roosters know better! When the sun comes up, it’s time to crow! And I thank God for humans who know that when the Son rises, it’s time to praise him!

Unfortunately, whenever praises resound, if you look around (and I hope you don’t—I hope you’re too busy praising the Lord yourself to notice), you’ll almost always find one or two thin-lipped sad-sacks with calcified hearts standing around stone-cold-silent, unmoved except to hurl criticism toward others who spirits are joyful and whose hearts are warm.

That was the case way back in 2 Samuel 6 when King David, the “man after God’s own heart,” a man whose heart often overflowed with joy and praise, led the holy Ark of the Covenant back home after its long absence.

King David, filled with joy, was “leaping and dancing before the Lord,” and his sullen wife, Michal, Saul’s daughter, watched from a window and later derided him. To the day of her death, evidently, she remained sullen, joyless, and childless.

And then there was the time on that very first Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem and was hailed as a conquering king. Some of the Pharisees, full of themselves and the kind of toxic religion which leaves no room for God, derided those who praised the Lord. “Teacher,” they coldly whined, “rebuke your disciples!”

You remember Jesus’ famous reply, don’t you?
“I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

If you’re a child of the King, don’t forget to praise him. It would be a real shame to let roosters and rocks do all the praising!

 

 

 You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!

 

 

 

Copyright 2015 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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Crowing Roosters, Chiming Bells, and Change

crowing roosterI woke up in my Key grandparents’ old house in Robert Lee, Texas, this morning. My maternal grandparents had the good sense to live here all of their lives. A couple of times a year, for over thirty years, my brothers and I have gathered here, a gaggle of pastoral Shelburnes somewhat off-duty.

I like to wake up here, even though the rooster who lives across the “patch” could use a short “For Dummies” course on “Ways and Means of Knowing When the Sun Actually Rises.” His vocal apparatus could do with a little lubrication, too. But I’ve grown fond of him. Roosters crow in all sorts of places, but whenever I hear one announcing a new day, I think of Robert Lee.

I like that, too, by the way. The name itself and the venerable general. You don’t have to learn much about General Lee to figure out that he was one of the finest men this land of ours ever produced (ironically, I’d argue that Lincoln and Lee were very close together up near the top of that list).

I stopped for just a moment here to listen to church chimes. So far, I’ve only heard the hour, which is chime enough this early. I hope that later they also launch into some beautiful hymns, as they’ve done for decades. There’s been a “changing of the chime guard” church-wise. We’ll see if the new chimers have the great taste in hymns the old ones did.

I’m not interested in providing ammo for any “worship wars.” There’s plenty of room in worship for high quality hymns and high quality “praise songs,” and followers of a crucified Lord should be thankful for an opportunity to crucify their own desires occasionally by singing a song that blesses someone else.

But wisdom is called for. There’s a right time and place for a variety of songs to be sung or played. Maybe in a difficult time even “You’re the Hang-nail of My Life” or “Thank God and Greyhound She’s Gone” might be sung with deep feeling, but not at church, please.

Seriously, it’s not just a taste thing. One of Charles Wesley’s or Fanny Crosby’s songs is truly more spiritually valuable than, say, one of the “poor pitiful me” Depression-era tunes. One verse of “Crown Him With Many Crowns” or “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” is salve to a soul rendered anorexic by a diet of camp songs of 27 verses (Trinitarian though they may be with the words “love,” “joy,” and “adore” shifted in and out.) Ah, but don’t forget the beautifully meaningful modern stuff like “How Deep the Father’s Love” and “As the Deer.” They’ll stand the test of time and enrich our souls when the thin stuff has long since faded away. Sometime we need a swim in deep water and shallow just won’t do. Sometimes we need to praise God and not just praise praise.

Uh oh. That’s a fine Christmas hymn the bells are chiming. But it’s April. Some fine-tuning may be needed.

One great old hymn reminds us, “Change and decay all around we see,” but then points us to the One who does not change. I see plenty of evidence of change and decay around me this morning, but some combination of good memories, crowing roosters, and chiming bells, and the fact that I don’t wake up here every day seems to help me focus here in a special way on the One who does not change.

  

Copyright 2013 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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