Ring Christmas Bells!
The end of 2020 is finally upon us. Many, having navigated the storm of 2020, have reached the outer banks of this year with their sails a bit tattered and their decks bleached and weather-beaten from the constant crash of the tumultuous waves. Although many of our vessels have arrived limping into 2021, we give thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for piloting our ship through the dangerous waters and bringing us safely to this point in time.
As we enter December, it is time to allow ourselves to leave the frustrations of the year behind and enter the time of wonder and excitement of Christmastime. For those who know Jesus, Christmas is one of the holiest days of the year. It is the time we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, and as Robert Louis Stevenson sweetly wrote in "A Christmas Prayer," "...share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men."
During times of celebrations, we incorporate the Christmas traditions of days gone by into our festivities of today. One of these traditions is the ringing of the Christmas bells to usher in Christmas Day. This tradition was begun in the 5th century by St Patrick of Ireland. He was the first to ring the bells to gather the Irish people together for church. By the 8th century, bells became an essential part of the church. The bells were rung to summon the surrounding families to the church for services, weddings, funerals, and special feasts and celebrations. This tradition has carried forward through time to today. Bells are rung on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day in celebration of the birth of the Christ-child.
This year, with COVID 19 ravaging the families around the world, a new tradition originating in Scotland, is being incorporated into many Christmas Eve festivities. Families are encouraged to head out their front doors at exactly 6PM and ring a bell for 2 minutes to "spread the Christmas Spirit." What a creative way to pass onto the next the generation the Christian tradition of the ringing of the Christmas bells while joining families around the world in proclaiming the TRUE REASON FOR THE SEASON…. The birth of Jesus.
From our maternity home to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 1:2 NKJV