Every Sunday morning in the town of Huntington, Indiana, almost to the hour and especially around noon the air is filled with the sound of ringing bells. One of the many things that tied my college town and my home town together.
Many of those bells are run by computers nowadays, especially those in Huntington. However back home the bells are rung by one person every Sunday morning, inviting the community to gather for worship.
For centuries bells have called God’s people to worship. They were included in the decorations in the Tabernacle in the book of Exodus ( specifically the robs of the priests in 28:33-34 and 39:25-26). Those robes didn’t change all that much throughout history.
The bell ringers were the people to look up to within the congregation. For the Israelites, the bell ringers were the priests, the Levites. Today that person has in all but the smallest of churches been replaced by either silence or a computerized bell ringing system or track. As I said earlier, not so in my church.
My church is one of those small country churches in the middle of nowhere. Every Sunday before Sunday School, the same older woman rings the bell signaling time to start. It has been this way since before I was born.
Over the years, she had become a leader within our small church and it came off as a shock to everyone when we learned of her death earlier this week.
Yet to me the one image that will have the most lasting memory, will be of her ringing the church bell every Sunday. Of knowing that she unknowingly may have had the most important job in the church, inviting all who could hear those bells together into the house of the LORD to worship the Almighty God.
Please join me in praying for her family and our church as we deal with this loss of her here on Earth, and look for the day when we will join her in Paradise with Christ.