This was the week we looked at ways to discover more of God. Beginning by being like a little child, through learning to make a quiet space in hearts that have room for him, were some of the ways we hoped to make ready for the discovery. Did you notice that discovery of God centers on our receptiveness, and how we welcome him?
Christmas Reminders in Sight, Smell, and Sound
We often see symbols that remind us of Christ, while it is usually a cross symbol, during Christmas it is most often the manger.
The smells of frankincense and myrrh, or the Christmas tree, or baking cookies bring memories to mind, and we think of Christ’s birth celebration in some way.
Today though, what about the sounds of Christmas? Most often it is singing, the carols and hymns in Church, the songs we hear while shopping in stores, or on our radio. But what of bells? What kind of bells do you hear? Church bells are often rung in the cities, and jingle bells, though not the large sleigh bells, are a popular decoration. What other kinds of bells can you think of?
If a bell rings, what does it make you think of?
Can you think of old fashioned ways bells were used? A long time ago, a dinner bell was used to call people in from the fields to eat. Bells were a way to signal others that a boat was approaching… the belltones alerted people, expressed joy, gave warning.
Bells Mean Joy
In the Bible, there were bells as symbols for the gifts of God’s spirit, they were sewn onto the priests hem, between little decorative pomegranates.
Maybe guests will ring your doorbell, or the mailman, and you may receive gifts. That is a happy feeling. Bells were rung on joyous events. Bells were rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, the bells at Westminster Abbey rang when a Royal baby was born. And these are some of the reasons we use bells during Christmas and as symbols and decorations.
The first Christmas gift was not those of the Wise Men, but the gift of God which came down in the form of the little Baby Jesus. He was a gift to all of us.
Here is a carol of the Bells of Christmas.