On 28th September 2013, my wife and I were participating in ‘Singing Rooms’, a local ministry that seeks to meet every month to have 12 hours of constant praise and worship in Plymouth, where different musicians lead 2 hours at a time.
As it happens, there were so many leaders in this particular month that my wife and I kicked off the 16-hour worship session at 1am on a Saturday morning. Just as my wife was starting to play the first song, the hands on the analogue clock on the wall starting to turn much faster than normal. We watched as it went past 2, 3, 4 o’clock and so on.
Following on from the ‘eleventh hour’ encounter in 2012 where the clock in our living room had done exactly the same thing, we fully expected the clock to stop at 11 o’clock once again as a sign of confirmation of the times we are living in.
To our surprise, the hands kept going past 11 o’clock but then stopped at exactly 12 o’clock, the midnight hour. To ensure that my wife and I didn’t miss the point God was making about the midnight hour, He’d ‘arranged’ just 4 days earlier at our church house group for a wonderful woman of God to be there, who had sat through the meeting in near silence, but at the end she was led to read out a passage God had put on her heart from Scripture. She proceeded to read from Matthew 25 about the midnight cry!
Matthew Chapter 25:1-13 (NIV):
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.