Posts Tagged ‘presence of God’

You’d think because today is Sunday I’d naturally find God in church. That is where many people seek Him, and they should. He is present in the breaking of the Bread, in the prayers of the people, and in the voices of the choir as they lift their songs to Him. Hopefully God is present in the words spoken from the pulpit and in the handshakes at the church door after the service.

Today, I heard Him in the tolling of the bell.

Our tower bell tolls at the beginning of the service and the clarions (a group of bells in various sizes) play a hymn at the end.  But right in the middle, when all is quiet and people are on their knees, it tolls for God’s presence to be known in the breaking of the bread. It reminds us why Christ died and shed His blood.

It is an old European tradition to toll the bells. Once, when the church was the center of the community,  the toll’s tempo meant different things. Our church has long upheld that tradition, as do many mainstream churches. Perhaps a series of bells, ringing in a joyous fast cascades, meant a couple had just be joined in wedlock. Or, a steady tolling was a call to come to church. But, a long, purposeful bong of a bell meant a person had passed on and to pray for their families.

John Donne wrote, in response to the question for whom the bell tolls, “… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”  Meditation XVII

The walking dead –  the ones who have no hope, who have not really absorbed the Good  News – do they hear the bell toll in Eucharist?  Do they know it also tolls for them and that God wants to be involved in their lives? I wonder.

Do they hear it in their hearts when they have slammed the door between themselves and their spouse after angry words have filled the home? Does it beckon to a teen who has locked herself in her room to cry into her stuffed animal, thinking it is the only thing on earth who understands her, or when a guy has decided to try the drugs his friend slipped him in the hall to escape the madness raging in his thoughts?

How many people within earshot today knew what that bell was really saying? Did they realize it meant that Christ’s blood was shed for their sins? Did they grasp that the bell represented their Heavenly Father beckoning them to come and accept His Son so His Spirit can dwell within them and bring them peace?

Today I heard God in the tolling of the bell. My prayer is others did as well. I pray they will finally respond to His call and fall into His waiting arms.

Your turn. Where Did You Find God today? Please let me know.

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