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The Weekly Encourager – December 27, 2018 – Ring Out, Wild Bells

As 2018 draws to a close, some of us are grieving the loss of loved ones. Others are disturbed by the direction our society is moving in, dismayed by the seeming loss of Christian virtues. This stirring poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (published in 1850, as he grieved not only the loss of his dear friend, but social injustice in his country) seems particularly appropriate for this week between Christmas and New Year's.

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

   The flying cloud, the frosty light:

   The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

 

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

   The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

 

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

   For those that here we see no more;

   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

 

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

   And ancient forms of party strife;

   Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

 

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

   The faithless coldness of the times;

   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

 

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

   The civic slander and the spite;

   Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

 

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

   Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

 

Ring in the valiant man and free,

   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

   Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

 

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

As we approach a new year, let us do so with renewed hope in Jesus Christ. He alone can console us in our private grief. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” - Psalm 34:18 ESV. Know that “God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” - Philippians 1:6 TLB.

 

Christ alone can bring kindness, cooperation, and equity to the nations. “Look at my Servant...he will proclaim justice to the nations.” - Matthew 12:18 NLT. As 2019 begins, let's renew our commitment to pray regularly for all those in authority. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” - Galatians 6:9 ESV.

 

Know that Christ will strengthen us, the weak yet faithful, until He comes again to wipe away every tear and to reign in glory forever. Thanks be to God!

 

Happy New Year!

j

 

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