I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

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“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  – Luke 2:14

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is based on the 1863 poem Christmas Bells by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  It talks of despair upon hearing Christmas bells – declaring that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Even though it begins on a negative thought, it ends declaring that the bells carry renewed hope for peace among men.

We all know that Christmas can be a depressing time for many people – actually more than will admit it.  But the Christian has the greatest hope – our Hope is in Christ and His promise of everlasting life!

This time of year, many catch what can be referred to as a “Christmas cold.”  The shorter days and lack of sunshine can sometimes trigger this type of cold.  Symptoms vary but include being down in the dumps, sadness, and lethargy.  During this illness they may ache for days gone by and for loved ones who they’d like to be near to help them through.  No one is immune.  It can strike any given year out of nowhere.  There are things caregivers can do in order to help ease pain and shorten how long the cold lasts, such as:  Love, acknowledge, nurture, understand and pray, remembering that this cold is quite contagious.  Protect yourself and help others by sharing your faith, joy, light, hope, peace, merriment, wonder, and most of all – LOVE.  ‘Tis the season to believe!  – Vicki La Fleur Lazrine

What is your reaction when you hear Christmas bells?  Do you feel the peace of God, or do you begin to feel the chill of a Christmas cold?

Where do we go when it’s cold outside and we feel a Christmas cold coming on?

15420982_1857268731184255_355262171039274170_n-2We run to Jesus – just as fast as we can.  God’s love can warm up YOU.  And…  in closing, let me share the last verse of this great carol:

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.”

Please take care of your physical health by taking care of your emotional health – and let God cradle you in HIS loving arms this Christmas!  He will take care of you.  He made you – He knows just what you need and when you need it – just trust Him for answers.  🙂

CAROL OF THE BELLS

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Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  – Luke 2:11 

Carol of the Bells is of Ukrainian origin.  Did you know that this was originally a New Year’s Carol?  These lyrics were written in 1936.  Through the years this old tune has been given several different lyrics, but Carol of the Bells has been a Christmas classic since then.

It’s not quite Christmas without bells, is it?  Obviously there are jingle bells, but in church we are more likely to hear a handbell choir.  Some churches have bells that ring on a regular basis – but even so, when it’s Christmas, the ringing of the church bells has a special sort of meaning.  It’s as though the bells are proclaiming, Christ is born!  Come and worship the Lord!  Let’s prepare our hearts, proclaim the good news and announce to everyone that hope was born in Bethlehem!

RING THE BELLS!!!

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When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.   – Luke 2:17-18

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Did you know in Victorian times it was fashionable to go caroling with small handbells to play the tune of the carol?  Sometimes they would just play the bells and not sing along.  Each person in a handbell choir is vitally important.  You are only responsible for one or two bells, but knowing when it’s your turn to play either of your bells is crucial.  If you miss it – then…  OOPS!

The bell’s rhythm and pitch indicate joy at Christmas and are symbolic of the harmony existing in the society.  Bells act as a go-between from heaven to earth, between God and man.  Sometimes new church bells get dedicated and even baptized before being used.  I’ve never been to a bell baptism, have you?  It’s quite a visual…  I’m trying to imagine what that would be like.  🙂