Tarnished Bells

We’ve all been there. Walking through your day with that song you can’t get out of your head, and Christmas time is the worst.

Last week I was mindlessly humming some weird mutant-hybrid of “What Child Is This” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” I know, I know, I know… somehow it worked in my head.

But, just today as I doing some Christmas shopping (yes, I’m still Christmas shopping and I don’t want to hear it from any of you who obviously need more to do with your lives than go to stores and and shop online… well, after that rant, Merry Christmas) I caught myself whistling a song I couldn’t recall right away.

After a minute or two of my own personal name that tune… I GOT IT!

Silver Bells.

Man, that song is sick!

Seriously, if the name of Christ weren’t in Christmas itself then you wouldn’t have any idea He was even involved in this holiday as it relates to this song.

City sidewalks busy sidewalks .
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There’s a feeling
of Christmas

That’s the feeling of Christmas?

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

That’s what passes for treasure?

Charlie Brown must be rolling over in his cartoon grave after hearing the theme song to such a commercial Christmas. Linus, grab your blanket and save us!

The biggest problem (ring a ling, ding a ling) is, well… I fall into the trap every year. I’m not just talking about singing the song, I mean I find myself playing the game.

I’m a playa’. And, you can quote me on that.

Christmas presents, cheap decorations, cheesy songs, bad old movies, pointless traditions… they all make me smile. But, half way through my inadvertent whistling trip down Silver Bell Avenue I once again realized there is so much more to the season. The Silver Bells tarnished a little for me, but that’s a good thing.

Christmas is about Jesus, so, the question is what is Jesus about?

 It says in the book of James, Chapter 2:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

 18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
      Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

We have a faith that is supposed to DO SOMETHING, and this (and every Christmas) would be a great time to actually DO SOMETHING!

For the rest of the world, who care not for Jesus or His ways; leave them alone.

Let them enjoy the snow crunch, see the kids bunch, this is Santa’s big scene, it’s Christmas time in the city, ring-a-ling, hear them sing, soon it will be Christmas day.

This isn’t their responsibility. It’s ours!

So, what do we do with our DO SOMETHING faith?

See a point of need and fill it, even if it is a sacrifice for you. That’s what Jesus would do.

If all you do is believe and pray, and don’t do something out of your abundance… well, let me just re-quote the Scripture: You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

So, this Christmas, let’s CLR the tarnish off the old church bells (CLR= Christ Like Resemblance… that’s the corniest thing I have ever written… and I still wrote it…and I even made a comment about it… which I’m doing now… i have issues).

Here are just a few ways you can DO SOMETHING this Christmas season. There are a zillion other ways, but this is just a start:

50,000 Shoes  Nashville, TN — November 7, 2008 — Soles4Souls, the international charity dedicated to providing free footwear to those in desperate need, has announced plans to launch a new fundraising website, www.50000shoes.com. The charity is challenging bloggers and social media users to raise funds for 50,000 pairs of new shoes in 50 days.

Angel Tree Right now, an estimated 1.5 million children have a mom or dad in prison. The number is huge – but so is the opportunity. Angel Tree is a ministry that reaches out to the children of inmates and their families with the love of Christ. It seeks to transform the lives of these families and to reconcile them to their Heavenly Father and each other. In Matthew 18:5 Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” There are children right in your community who are among the most at-risk children in the nation. Angel Tree provides an opportunity to connect with those families and begin ministering to them at Christmas and then continue through a variety of year-round ministry opportunities.

Salvation Army The “miracle” of Christmas is repeated over and over again through the joy of caring and sharing.The traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene, with millions of dollars donated each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless, in keeping with the spirit of the season. Donations provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need. Financial assistance also helps with basic necessities, along with seasonal aid. Families of prisoners often are included. Volunteers distribute gifts to shut-ins in hospitals and nursing homes, and shelters are open for sit-down dinners. The Salvation Army endeavors to bring spiritual light and love to those it serves at Christmas so that the real meaning of the season is not forgotten. Many families receive aid over a period of months after the Christmas season as well, people struggling with difficult family, emotional, or employment problems.

Missions Giving “How many million more souls are to pass into eternity without having heard the name of Jesus?” That question, ever-present in the letters of Lottie Moon, seared her heart as she planted her life as a missionary to China a century ago. During the past five generations, Southern Baptists have been motivated by Lottie Moon to plant their lives in missions by going or supporting others who are carrying the gospel light into the darkness. Today, we support 5,318 missionaries on the field. Our goal for the annual missions offering named for Lottie Moon is a substantial $170 million. What would Lottie think? Would she, citing the 1.6 billion who live precariously in unreached areas, challenge us once again: “How many million more souls are to pass into eternity without having heard the name of Jesus?”

Local Opportunities. Don’t forget you can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, serve in your church, provide food for a needy family, shovel a neighbors walk, babysit for a young couple to give them a night out, or basically just keep your eyes open and jump in wherever you think Jesus might!

When we serve others at Christmas instead of having Christmas serve us, the church bells that have long been silent actually begin to stir. They ring out lound and strong. Their tones remind me of another song:

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

– “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *