The Ringing of the Church Bell: A Call to Discipleship
By: Pastor Charley Munro
Within the sacred walls of our church, the ringing of the bell provides us with a powerful and evocative reminder of our deep connection to Jesus Christ. Each Sunday, as the bell resounds throughout our sanctuary, it serves as a constant call to discipleship and a profound symbol of the twelve disciples who were chosen by Christ to spread His gospel to the world. In understanding the meaning behind this cherished tradition, we are called to reflect upon our own role as modern-day disciples and our responsibility to carry forth the teachings of our Savior.
The Twelve Disciples – Ordinary Men Chosen for an Extraordinary Mission
Jesus Christ, in His infinite wisdom and boundless love, handpicked twelve ordinary men to be His closest companions and ambassadors. These chosen disciples hailed from various walks of life - fishermen, tax collectors, and even zealots. Despite their differences, they all shared an unwavering commitment to Jesus and His mission of salvation.
By ringing the church bell twelve times, we honor and remember these twelve remarkable individuals who were entrusted with spreading the Good News. Like us, they were flawed and imperfect, representing a broad spectrum of human qualities. However, their encounter with Jesus transformed their lives, enabling them to accomplish extraordinary feats in His name.
The Symbolism of the Twelve Chimes
As the bell tolls twelve times during our worship service, it unites us in our recognition of being fellow disciples of Jesus Christ. Through this symbolic act, we are reminded of our divine calling to follow in the footsteps of the original twelve and share the message of love, compassion, and salvation with the world.
Furthermore, the number twelve holds great significance within biblical numerology. Throughout the Bible, the number twelve represents completeness, divine authority, and a sense of wholeness. The Israelites were made up of twelve tribes, and the New Jerusalem is portrayed with twelve gates and twelve foundations. By associating the ringing of the bell with the twelve disciples, we acknowledge the divine authority with which they were entrusted and the completeness of Christ’s mission, which we are called to continue.
Embracing Our Role as Modern-Day Disciples
Just as Jesus chose the twelve disciples, He calls upon each of us to be His disciples in today's world. By embracing this role, we accept the challenge to emulate His example of compassion, forgiveness, and selflessness. The ringing of the church bell serves as a constant reminder that we, too, have been given the responsibility of spreading the Gospel, each in our unique way.
Moreover, the ringing of the bell serves as a reminder that discipleship is not an exclusive duty but a collective effort. Just as the twelve were chosen together to form a diverse and resilient group, we are also part of a larger community bound by our faith. The sound of the bell echoes the unity and fellowship we share as followers of Christ.
In the sacred moments when the church bell resounds, may its chimes serve as a clarion call – a call to discipleship, a call to remember the twelve chosen by Jesus, and a call to embrace our role as modern-day disciples. Each peal of the bell reminds us of the transformative power of Christ's teachings and our shared duty to carry His message to the world. Let us respond to this call, as the twelve disciples did, with unwavering commitment and a deep sense of purpose, knowing that we, too, have been chosen to leave an indelible mark on the world in the name of our Savior.