Ding Dong

Ding Dong

This will definitely be the most controversial of my 454 blogs.  If you are prone to getting your feelings hurt, then you may want to skip this blog as I am going to say some very strong things. They are highly opinionated, not found in Scripture, and more than a bit tongue in cheek.  But, in spite of all that, I think they are funny and they did lead to an important lesson and choice in my life.  I hope they lead you to make the same choice and have the same reaction.
This past week our church began a new ministry.  We started a hand bell choir.  Hand bells have always struggled to find their place in the musical world.  Certainly a step or two above the cow bell but they may fall a bit short of the classical music scene they long to be recognized with.  I recently went to a hand bell concert.  The dress was formal and the air a bit stuffy...for my taste.  I will admit that I arrogantly walked in believing that if a riot broke out, I could probably take most of the people in the room (most were in their eighties).  I found myself constantly distracted by one passionate bell ringer in the back row.  He reminded me of Chris Farley in a suit too small for him.  He played with great enthusiasm and made me smile all night.  The highlight of the evening, for the bell ringers at least, was when they were able to introduce their newest addition.  It was a bell on loan to them.  It was valued at $15,000.00 and was one of only two in the world (unless there are some hidden with tribes in the deep forest that we know nothing about).  It was a big bell and the more they spoke about it, the more excited I became to hear the rich, low sounding, mellow ring of this bell.  I wish I could describe to you the sound I heard when they finally rang it.  They reacted proudly.  I truly thought I could get the same sound out of hitting a big pot with a wooden spoon.  No deep, mellow, $15,000.00 rich note but a dull thunk.  I admit, I just don’t get it.
But back to the JBC Bell Choir.  They played a rendition of “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”.  Now, churches that do not have denominational references in their names, like Raindrop Community Church or The Tree, probably do not view our decision to start a bell choir as a huge church growth decision.  I am not sure, I may be wrong, but I don’t think that many people choose a church because they have a bell choir.  If I base my thinking on many of the comments I have heard...”I remember my grandmother’s church having a bell choir”, my guess is that not too many young people will find the bell choir a must for their church choice.  Again, I may be wrong.
But here is why I loved the bell choir.  The eleven or so people who played in the choir loved ringing their bells.  Playing the bells involves way more than huge forearms.  I still do not quite get it, but the skill to know when to ring their bell takes talent and practice.  Our bell choir practiced.  They desired to bring God glory through the ringing of their bells.  The results were awesome and God truly was glorified.  That is what church is all about.  People using their gifts and talents for the glory of God.  That led me to worship God.  
Hand bells (do I disrespect them by not capitalizing them?) may not be my cup of tea.  I may not run out and by a cassette of hand bell classics (I know, we download music now but I figure hand bell music may only be found on cassettes).  But I look forward to the next time our hand bell choir plays.  I love that they practice hard.  I love that they desire to give glory to God.  I love that they enjoy what they are doing.  So I love their ministry.  Now, if they could dress DeMarco up in a suit that is too small for him...then we would have something even more special.  Thunk.

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