Sunday morning we walked out of the sanctuary after a beautiful service where we were given the gift of seeing multiple children and youth declare their intent to follow Jesus through baptism.
As we exited the church doors out into the world our ears were filled with the joyous sound of bells ringing. It was almost as if the bells were rejoicing alongside the angels in these decisions. What a beautiful sound!!!
My son immediately stopped, looked up, and questioned “Do you hear that Mommy?!?! It’s like they are saying don’t forget about Jesus.” Yes, I smiled, yes they are, let us not forget about Jesus.
As his words taught the heart of his mama once again, this truth flooded my eyes....Our God is so very with us, in and through all things! Are we looking and listening for Him?
Almost as if in slow motion, I looked to my right and I saw the water begin where the street ended. A boat with fishermen sailed by. Amidst their peace upon the water, the song of the bells was present.
To the left, I saw a man walking his dog and a woman working in her flowers. Amidst their tasks, amidst their work, the song of the bells was present.
As I glanced in front of me, an elderly gentleman in a pick up truck waved politely with a smile. Amidst his travel, the song of the bells was present.
I looked down at my son’s hand in mine and I thought...amidst our relationship, the song of bells reached us as well. I am so very grateful for those moments.
You see, in those moments, it felt we were united. All different people, with different plans, going about life in different ways but able to hear the sound. We were invited to listen and to join the proclamation that Jesus is not forgotten.
The song of the bells didn’t discriminate. It didn’t judge. No, the bells proclaimed their message to whoever was willing to listen and they reached as far as they could.
The song traveled down streets, up sidewalks, into gardens, through windows, and even across water.
The song went to people kneeling, to some sitting alone, to others in groups, to families walking by, and even to those hand in hand. People, in all different postures, were visited by the notes and united in the ability to listen.
Isn’t our God that way? Doesn’t He go before us and behind us? Doesn’t His word teach us that He walks beside us. He finds us wherever we are and speaks to us in a way that we can hear. He seeks us out even if we aren’t looking for Him. When we are “too busy” He’s there. When are still, He’s there. When we go through the motions, when we rejoice, when we weep, when we laugh, when we celebrate, He is there.
As if this wasn’t enough to stir my heart and send my eyes into the search for His communication through the “everyday” moments, my son goes on to ask me another “stop me in my tracks” kind of question...
“What if every church that had a bell rang it?”
I’ll pause right there...think about it...
What if every single church....
that had a bell....
“What if every single church that had a bell rang it..... How cool would that sound?” He asked.
My mama mind went a thousand directions with that question.
What if we all came together and said let’s not forget about Jesus? What if we proclaimed it?!?!
What if we all sent out reminders through our lives that Jesus IS alive - that the church is ALIVE!!!!
What if we took action to proclaim that we are NOT rusty old bells sitting stagnant without a song but, instead, we are vessels filled with joy! It is His song that we are called to share!
What if we all used the gifts we were given within the churches to proclaim Jesus outside the church doors? What would it look like to see all these talents our God has given us being used to reach out and serve others? Goodness y’all! - Can you imagine?!?!
You know, we can start this in our very own homes! We can share the song of love, the chimes of grace, the notes of forgiveness, the chords of patience and kindness.
We can let these same songs echo from our homes across driveways to our neighbors, into our schools, out into the parking lots, on our athletic fields…
You see, Jesus isn’t only alive in the church!!! He doesn’t only want us to remember Him there. He sings through us if we allow Him to.
When we step into our workplace, when we cheer for kids from the stands, when we walk through the store and speak with others are we remembering Him? Do the songs of our lives show we haven’t forgotten about Jesus or do we simply sing words from a pew and step out in silence when we exit the church?
I don’t know about you but I want to be like a song by Casting Crowns...let my life song sing to you! Let...my...life song...sing...for you!
Thank you! You are so good! You surprise us in so many ways and show us your love is greater than any other and you do it through our surroundings.
Thank you for the work you did outside the temple - for taking your love into the streets, the fields, and seashores, the fishing boats.
Thank you for leaving your heavenly throne to come and reach each one of us where we are. We are grateful your invitation was addressed not to just one, but to everyone!!
Help us to continue to invite and share your love wherever we may be.
Please be with those who have just accepted that invitation for salvation and work in the hearts of those who have yet to meet you. Father work in us and through us so the songs of our lives glorify you!!!! We Love YOU.