Here’s one from the travel file.
During the last twenty years I’ve had the opportunity to visit more than seventy countries. One day I’ll tell you about the night I was trapped in a hotel in Moscow on the evening of the Soviet coup to displace Mikhail Gorbachev, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Complete with tanks and soldiers filling Red Square, it’s one of those horrifying experiences movies are made of. More on that story in a later post.
That said, there’s a rather unusual feature found on the churches in the Baltic States, France, Germany, Hungry, and the Netherlands among other countries in the region. Upon close inspection, you’ll discover that many churches don’t have a cross at the top of their steeple, spire, or bell tower. Instead of a cross you’ll see a rooster, such as this rooster high atop of St. Vitus’ Cathedral at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic (see picture).
A rooster? On a church?
Sometimes there’s a cross with a rooster on top.
What gives? Is this to scare off pigeons?
No. Here’s a hint. Remember Peter? This follower of Christ was so confident about his dedication to Jesus, he swore he’d never forsake the Savior. And yet, on the night Jesus was handed over to be crucified, Peter did just that. He denied any knowledge of Jesus – not once, but three times – before the rooster crowed. Jesus forgave Peter who wept and repented at this betrayal.
What’s that got to do with roosters on church rooftops? They were placed there to remind churchgoers down through the ages that we enter the church much like Peter.
We all deny the Savior in some way.
To be candid, I’m not comfortable admitting that fact. I’d like to believe that after several decades of reading my Bible, I’d never do as Peter did. You may feel the same way. But if honest, we deny Jesus with our thought life, our poor choices, our lack of faith, our treatment of others, and perhaps a touch of spiritual arrogance that we’re somehow better than the next guy. In that respect, we, like Peter, are in need of His forgiveness. Today, and every day.
By the way, I’ve never seen a church in the U.S. with a rooster on the steeple. We place them on our barns, but not on our houses of worship.