When I was very little before we moved to the country I loved Sunday mornings. One of the local churches rang the bell in their steeple to call people to worship. It was so beautiful as it echoed through the neighborhood. I have loved church bells ever since. Sometimes while waiting for a traffic light in town church bells begin. I quickly open the car windows to get the full effect. Bells can be pealed for joyous occasions such as a wedding. Bells can be tolled for sad occasions. One of the famous lines in literature is by John Dunne, “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Or bells can be rung just to tell us it is noon.
If I were a bell I would peal instead of toll. On occasion I hear sermons filled with gloom and doom. Instead I would peal the love of our Jesus and the transforming power of His grace to make us better people. We have so much to peal. Why burden people with bad news? They get loads of that from CNN, NBC and FOX. Sometimes we wonder why attendance at church is low. Could it be that people come weary and leave even more so? The Gospels are the GOOD NEWS.
Recently I read an interesting article about ten ways the world can come to an end. It covered everything from volcanoes to nuclear war. However, the best way wasn’t mentioned. So let us peal it out loud and clear. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Written by Roger Bothwell on January 23, 2012
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574