At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.
The bell brings joy.
The eyes always give them away. Last night the kids were wide-eyed with excitement. As they run in this morning to see the gifts under the tree is sheer joy, on their part and mine! The joy around Christmas for children involves Santa and that brings joy in the innocence. The bell brings joy because of belief.
When we choose to believe that a little baby named Jesus was born to die taking on our sins, our hearts ring with joy. Joy of being relieved of all sin and guilt and shame. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Let not age or event remove your joy.
The bell brings stability.
Christmas comes on the same day every year. Our Eve process always includes making cookies, opening some gifts, and watching Polar Express. The kids know what is coming for weeks. Since they still believe it affords this stability. My daughter asked if we still believed. We said, “Yes.” We responded in that way not because we believe in a person who rides a sleigh around the world in 24 hours while dropping gifts but because we believe in the spirit of giving that began with God giving us Jesus.
Like the boy who is teetering on whether to believe or not, we teeter on whether to believe in Jesus consistently or not. We want to believe and to be real and relevant to the world around us. Because we often are taught that we must choose one or the other, we feel unstable. Because we are taught that to believe in Santa (or concept of) is absurd after a certain age we come to a point of difficulty. When we finally settle down and choose to believe in Jesus regardless, we find a new stability of emotion, character and intellect we did not have before.
Don’t let age or event remove your stability.
The Bell of Innocence.
We live in a world where both love and stability are in short supply. The innocence of youth has given way to now just being innocence of children. I fear that I am witnessing that being given away to the innocence of pre-schoolers. How long before innocence is gone at birth? I pray that the bell of Christmas never grows cold or silent for you. Cherish an innocence that Jesus brings through belief in what He has done.
Don’t let age or event remove your innocence or that of your family.