*This post was first written December 8, 2008.
They played the hand bells during worship service last week. They sound so beautiful. They shine so beautiful. What a beautiful thing to see and hear. Of course, I couldn't resist taking the opportunity to try to get some photo shots of the bells.
The Bible verse I choose is from Mathew 13. It follows the Parable of the Sower. I always loved this parable. I always love parables because I enjoy analogies. I love the analogy of Christians planting seeds (of faith), other Christians watering the seeds, and God growing them.
In the parable, Jesus reminds us that there are many seeds out there for us to listen to, but we will only be blessed if we hear them. Oh, we can "hear" them, but do we really "hear" them? Do we really take them to heart and understand them?
This makes me think of my husband and his selective hearing. He can hear what I say, but not really listen. If I ask him quick enough, he can repeat what he just heard. However, if I do nothing, he does not ever remember hearing me say it at all.
We hear many things during this Advent season. We hear the shoppers going by, the charge cards being swiped, the ringing of the Salvation Army bells, the frustrated exclamations of shoppers, the crunching of snow under feet, Christmas carols, excited voices of children, and Santa's ho-ho-ho.
However, we also hear God's Word. Are you tuned in?
"Do you hear what I hear?" asks the a famous Christmas carol written in 1962 by Noel Regney. Listen to the lyrics with a new mindset. What are we to listen to?
Do you hear the message that Jesus is born? Do you hear the message that Jesus is coming again? Do you hear the gift that God has given us? Jesus was born, died, and rose for our sins.
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
"Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite."
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
"Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea."
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
"Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold;
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold."
Said the king to the people everywhere,
"Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light."
"Bring us Light!"