I’ve had a week to recover from a preschool bell choir. This is an annual event where we line up twenty or so preschoolers, march them up on stage in front of a full church audience and hand them bells. It takes us about three months of practice to get ready. It’s typically adorable. The worst year we had one child running around on the stage while two other kids had a punching contest on stage. It took us the rest of the year to forget and to decide this was again a good idea. Frankly, at three and four, if you march kids on stage and told them just to smile I think their parents and grandparents would call it a success.
This year we also decided that Linus in the Charlie Brown Christmas is in fact the cutest thing ever. So we taught our preschoolers to say Luke 2: 11- 14 in between their two bell songs.
“For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, Peace, Goodwill toward Men”.
People sometimes are cynical about Christmas. They talk about how our world isn’t exactly at peace and in this economy and political environment there is not a lot of goodwill.
I”m certainly not a bible scholar but I think what that verse means is not that Peace is everywhere or that Goodwill magically breaks out at Christmas. I think what it means is that the Christ child is a gift of peace and goodwill from God to those who will accept Him.
I love this version of I heard the Bells on Christmas Day.
God is not dead nor doth He sleep.
Ring those bells.