The Tintinnabulation of the Eve ~ One Day until the Christmas Bell Rings

Come on, Ring those Bells! 

That was An Evie song that I solo’ed on in the early 80’s and later our three little girls, Tara, Stephie and Dessa would sing together in matching Christmas dresses with red ribbons in their long hair, delighting congregations and their parents!

Everytime a bell rings, and angel gets its wings. 

Famous folklore from the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Sleigh Bells, Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Church bells.

There are a lot of bells ringing, it seems, around this time of year.  It is a bit daunting and I am tempted to yell, like Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, “Would somebody answer that [@#$%]  phone?!? 

But through crazy-loud-manic-silly-overdone-ear-piercing noise, I am listening.  I am listening for that one clear note, that beautifully and perfectly played note away from the fray.  I depend upon the tintinnabulation to bring things back into order, to make the world right again, to center my focus and bring some calm.

And while Christmas, the worship of the Savior who came, can get lost amid the piles of wrapping paper and receipts, and can be hard to find after too many parties and rooms full of people, that crystal-clear note is really the sound of the angels on high while a baby takes His first breath in a manger amid the animal dung and feed.  The tintinnabulation that rings so clear and true even still is the glorious song those angels sang so joyously and raucously over two-thousand years ago:

“Glory to God in the highest; and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men [on whom His favor rests].”

I am always so pleased to hear the radio stations play, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, for lyrically (written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), they are releasing into the air each Christmas season, the solid truth of that particular angelic declaration that rings through the ages and is louder still, even now:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men
.

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

God is not dead, nor does He sleep!  That is the true and reliable tintinnabulation for which I am listening, and endlessly, whether I listen for it or not, it rings on, unbroken by time or space or world condition. 

Casting Crowns recorded the lyrics with a haunting new melody last Christmas, a version they are even playing on Kosi 101 this year. Enjoy a live rendition below, and be thrilled again by God’s goodwill toward you!  (And, by the way, shhhhh, Casting Crowns has confirmed for Heaven Fest 2010)…

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day ~ Casting Crowns


And wild and sweet the words repeat of Peace on earth, goodwill to men!

2 thoughts on “The Tintinnabulation of the Eve ~ One Day until the Christmas Bell Rings

  1. Two things- I LOVE Evie!!! Every Christmas we would listen to her tape (finally Dad put it on a CD) while we sat around as a family opening our gifts and eating cinnamon rolls. That song will always transport me right back to my childhood Christmases- love it! Also, that Casting Crowns song is one of my new faves. They are such a gifted band. Love you Jeannie! Thank you so much for including us at your Christmas party- what a fun night it was! Thank you. :)

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