My childhood memories of church are so different than with and within the church today. I remember long ago when walking by a church and looking up at the steeple, being fascinated by the movement of the bells swaying back and forth. My parents would then tell me how they were chiming to make the most beautiful call for man to come and to worship God. In my silent world I will never hear the bells for myself in this lifetime. That saddens me but ever deeper is my sadness at realizing that we have taken the beautiful and significant call to worship away from our children and young people today. I look forward to glory and hearing all of heaven’s bells ringing and calling us to worship the One who is worthy! How I would love to start a movement to start our church bells ringing in this country once again…calling God’s people to prayer and praise and reminding the rest of society that there is a God who is worthy of our worship!
I remember a day when a man would remove his hat when entering a building, and would even take off his hat when in the presence of a woman as a sign of respect. They would remove their hats when the national anthem was sung. Our military are still taught this principle of respect of removing the hat but for how much longer? Today I see church band members wearing hats because pop culture band members are wearing hats and no one sees a difference or pauses to reflect on what the holy scriptures taught us about respect in 1 Corinthians 11. There was a day when a man, Christian or not, removed his hat when he entered a church, and a woman wore a hat to church. Yes, man looks on the outward appearance while God examines the heart, and it sure does the heart good to see these and others signs of respect for one another and respect for our God in a society that seems to have totally lost it altogether! These precious gifts of having and showing respect are not being taught and sadly our young people don’t know any better. It may seem a small matter but in the end it all adds to the bigger picture we see.
I remember when churches were filled with people who believed there was a God and who respected Him and His Word. The backs of the pews held not only a hymnbook but also a Bible provided for those who might wander in who did not have their own. These days we have to add our names to a list for us to even attend church due to the coronavirus and we must sit 6 feet apart and not touch one another, and we certainly cannot touch the hymnbook or Bible in the seat in front of us because they have been removed out of caution and fear of a viral bug.
We can’t even smile an encouragement to one another because our faces and emotions are hidden by a mask! The transparency of communication has disappeared. Our society has become expressionless and paralyzed by fear. Instead of respect for one another, we are now afraid of each other!
The state now tells us when we can worship, where we can worship and how to worship and we have permitted it to happen.
How did it happen?
Slowly but surely over the years the casual and careless attitude of the world with the love of money and power and the lack of respect has over taken the church. And now with this virus God’s people have become fearful and turning to government for news and statistics and direction rather than turning to the Word of God for strength and comfort or finding encouragement in honest fellowship with one another.
Today our churches are no longer what they used to be, a pillar, a light, a cornerstone in the community. A place of respect. A Sanctuary. That is gone and sadly our children and future generations will never see it or know what was taken.
But did not our God allow this virus to show us our declining direction and is He not the One who can redirect us and make our nation well again?
If My people shall humble themselves and pray I shall heal their land.
Do you not agree that it is time to boldly ring our church bells and for us to return to our God and to fill our churches, and to fall on our knees and pray?
With every breath of my final days I will encourage the ringing of those bells that I have never heard so that once again our churches will not be ashamed to publicly proclaim the living God by calling His people to come back to Him.
May one steeple at a time begin to break the great silence and by God’s grace let’s let freedom ring! Perhaps He will hear and will no longer be silent toward us.
Praying for church bells to ring again in America and beyond,
We seek to be a vessel, an outpouring of God’s love, to bring the good news to the afflicted, to bind up the broken hearted, to set the captive free, to comfort those who mourn, and to bring the oil of gladness and the mantle of praise to all that we meet and serve.
We undertake our mission through our outreach of ministering to the spirit, mind, and body, whether it be in renewal through silent retreat and prayer at WaterBrooks, through encouraging those with deafness and other physical challenges at Kennels of Levi, or through meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters among the homeless with Operation Silent Night.
We strive to fulfill our mission, not through our own might and power, but by resting on the firm guiding hand of faith in God’s providence, provisions and promises…for what He has started, He will so complete.