Summary: Three Loaves at midnight
Three Loaves at Midnight
By Dr. Matthew Taylor
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee .8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
In southern California, it's not unusual to have former gang members fill the halls of several churches, particularly at Cornerstone church, in Simi Valley. Francis, its senior pastor told us the story of one such attendee, who was drawn to Cornerstone church, he was baptized, but several months later he stopped attending. When asked why this ex-gang member confessed that he must have had the wrong impression of what the church fellowship was going to be like. He said, "I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in the gangs we were not just nice to each other once a week - we were family."
Do gangs paint a better picture of the family of Christ than your church does? This morning, I would like to talk for a few moments about the church’s catalytically powers to resuscitate, and transform the minds of those who are drawn to her folds. I am going to root my argument within an exegetical context of a parable of Luke, recorded in the eleventh Chapter, verses 5 through 8.
Although this literary device used by Jesus, is mainly concerned with the power of persistent prayers, hidden beneath its literal surface are the principles that are applicable to the intrinsic role of the church to contribute to the overall spiritual health and growth of those who are drawn to her folds. It is midnight in our parable; it is also midnight in our world. Like in the parable, millions of God children have knocked and are knocking on the doors of the Church, seeking three loaves of bread.
Midnight is that hour in a believer, or non-believer experience when he or she seek desperately not to be at odds with the majority, but to blend in like I-robots. Midnight is that hour when we cannot see a clear distinction, between the sacred and the secular. Midnight is that hour when it is so dark that we cannot see anything that is wrong with bringing R&B culture to our Churches. Midnight is that hour, when the lines so blurred between spirituality and muscularity, that it seem strange to fall prostrate before God. Midnight is that hour when genuine Christian brotherhood and sisterhood is considered to be too noisy because salvation is a personal thing. This midnight dark hour is so thick, it can be felt across the social, moral, and political dimensions of all humanity.
It is midnight in the social dimension. The collective social unrest felt, in every quarter of our communities, is indicative of the darkness piercing through the midnight.
The astonishing speed and intensity at which the social network phenomenon has taken control of our daily lives are alarming! Over the last decade, we have seen an exponential growth in the number of people who are willing to expose digital photos of private and personal artifacts in exchange for social acceptance. The importance of body language, voice inflection, tone moderation, and simply looking someone in the eye have been exchanged for emoticon, fragmented none-intelligent words, phrase, and jargons.
Not so long, on a sunny Friday afternoon, Sharon Seline exchanged text messages with her daughter who was in college. They ‘chatted’ back and forth, mom asking how things were going and daughter answering with positive statements followed by emoticons showing big smiles, love-icons and happy faces. Later that night, her daughter attempted suicide. In the days that followed, it came to light that she’d been holed up in her dorm room, crying and showing signs of depression — a completely different reality from what was conveyed in her emotion and fragment words. Simply stated, the dark midnight this social networking phenomenon is sabotaging the ability to communicate effectively.
Furthermore, it is so dark in this midnight hour, the display of digital photos our bodies in revealing under clothing, or photos of the inside of our bedrooms, which should be private, or used to generate or keep as many social followers or flirtation compliments from total strangers. Yet, though it appears as unrelated, we are puzzled as why the rest of the world doesn’t respect us anymore, even with our extensive military strength and spending equaling the total sum of what the entire rest of the world spends on national defense.