Where are the bells? I’ve strained my ears, longing for the sweet, familiar sound, but they feel so far away.
I look out to the horizon, searching for those singing the unbroken song of wild, sweet words, but I cannot see them. Can you?
The world revolves from night to day, I long to hear the voice, the chime, and the chant sublime.
Where is peace on earth? Where is goodwill toward men? I cannot feel it in the air, can you?
It doesn’t feel like Christmas. It doesn’t feel like everything sad is coming untrue. I search far and wide, yet where are those carols? Where are the sorrows drowned in their melodies? All I see are lonely people. All I see are grieving hearts. All I see are unanswered questions. All I hear are accusations, strife, and fear. All I feel is a deep yearning for this to end.
Another closed door. Another funeral. Another broken heart. Another friendship crumbles. Another child starves. Another baby killed. Another marriage ends. Another leader falls. Another child leaves. Another mother weeps. Another father doesn’t come home. Another girl loses her innocence. Another boy takes his life. Another bottle of pills is emptied. Another glass is tipped too far. Another empty womb. Another vow broken. Another tear, another grief, another pain, and another crime.
Then, in the midst of such great pain, the distant bells peal. Though they feel far off, they are loud and deep. Their sound rises above the weeping, above the shouting, above the lonely households, the empty chairs, the battlefields, the grave stones, and the hospital beds. Their bellow shakes the ground and weary hearts lift their drooping heads at the words, “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.”
Can it be? Can it be, that when Christmas comes bleak and dreary, that there is still hope? Can it be that the bells still ring out when the world resounds in shouts of anger and madness? Can it be that here, in the midst of so much woe and weariness that there is a faint sound of the carols chiming? Can it be that there is hope when we do not feel it? Can it be that the bells still ring?
It can. More loud and deep than perhaps, they have ever rung.
“The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail.”
There is hope. It will end. There will be a last, someday. There will be the end of endings. There will be tears dried. There will be joy restored. There will be a day when the wars cease. There will be a final goodbye. There will be a last time for every sorrow that plagues us now. The bells are ringing. Loud and deep. Listen. Listen intently. Do you hear them?
They will ring on until the trumpet sounds, the King returns, and the Wrong fails at long last. He has not forgotten His people. He is continuing to gather them close, to call them by name, wash them whiter than snow. He is not dead. He doth not sleep. He shall not fail. The Right will indeed prevail.
Where are the bells? They are ringing, dear one. Though many mock the song of hope, though hate is strong, they are ringing. Though perhaps they feel far away, they are ringing. They will ring on until the Hope they chime of has arrived.
Where are the bells? They are ringing, “Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel.” And we lift our yearning voices to sing with them.