Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. (5) For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.Psalms 30:4-5 NKJV
Today is the 5th of July, the morning after the 4th. In thinking about today’s services, the Lord dropped those words in my heart, “The morning after.” The Declaration of Independence was passed by the continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Up to that time, there had been significant fighting, but most still thought of it as a demand for reforms in the way the colonies were treated by the King. July 4th was decision day. That decision and the wonderful words of the declaration were a grand thing, but the living out of those principles is still going on. It would be more than 11 years before the Constitution was written, then 2 more years to get the states to agree to it. A grand document indeed, codifying the ideals of the Declaration in an unheard-of form of practical government. Yet it was another 75 years before emancipation and another 57 to give women the vote. And it continues. The principles of the 4th would have no life without the actions of the 5th.
Grand declarations of principle and commitment are wonderful things. It occurs to me, however, that they are little more than emotional eruptions if nothing happens on the morning after. Our faith, our commitment to Christ and to the Word, are essentially empty if we put them to bed on Sunday night and fail to awaken them the next day, and the next day, and the next, etc. This Sunday is another opportunity, as we experience the wonderful gift of trials we have never faced before, to allow God to bring us to new insights, require new commitments, and impart new passions and abilities. We are being pruned and prepared to be propelled to heights we’ve never reached before. The impact of Sunday’s passions depends on what we do the morning after.
To say we live in turbulent times would be an understatement. We are not the first. How we come out the other side will determine to a great degree whether this is seen as an aberration, a cataclysm, or a turning point. This Sunday don’t let your experience end in an altar call and a benediction. Take it home and let it arise again the morning after.