We are just through the Christmas season and I’ve been thinking about bells. Have you noticed how many Christmas songs have bells in them? “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” “Jingle Bells.” “Carol of the Bells.” “Come On, Ring Those Bells.” These are just a few of the songs with bells in the titles. When I think of Christmas morning I think of church bells ringing their praise to God.
Of course, bells don’t ring unless there is someone ringing them. Handbells require a hand and bells in a steeple require someone pulling on a rope. My mom used to ring a dinner bell, summoning us to supper – answer the call of the bell and something good will happen.
All of this made me thing about the ways we should be bells ringing out our praise of God. Instead of always asking God for things – prayers of intervention in our lives or the lives of those we love – we need to be sure we give God praise for what God has done as well. One of my favorite praise songs is “You are Holy” by Michael W. Smith. It is a perfect song of praise to God.
You are holy. You are mighty.
You are worthy, worthy of praise.
I will follow. I will listen.
I will love You, all of my days.
You are Lord of Lords, You are King of Kings,
You are Mighty God, Lord of everything.
You’re Emmanuel, You’re the Great ‘I Am’,
You’re the Prince of Peace, who is the Lamb.
You’re my living God, You’re my saving grace.
You will reign forever, You’re the ancient of days.
You’re the Alpha, Omega, beginning and end,
You’re my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend.
You’re my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You.
The words are simple and yet – they never fail to get me out of my selfish focus and centered on God. When I sing this song I am a bell ringing praises to God. When I believe and live out these things every day, other people can hear me ring.
Be a bell in a steeple ringing praises to God. Rise above whatever holds you down and let others hear your praise of the one who created us all, redeemed us all, and lives in us all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1