As a new bell ringer at the Community of Jesus Bell Tower, I had the privilege of going on a “bell-ringing field trip” to Boston this past year. We were invited to ring bells at the Church of the Advent and Old North Church, to gain some experience in different settings, and to learn from more experienced ringers. Wow, what a privilege! To actually get to climb the tower of the oldest church in Boston where Paul Revere signaled the historical event and to ring their bells!
It was an absolutely beautiful fall day in Boston, the kind you think of when taking a foliage trip north. As we were walking from one bell tower to the next (which is what the bell ringers do on any given Sunday in Boston) I was asked by one of the Bostonians, “Why did you start ringing bells? And what was your interest?” I paused because I hadn’t been asked that before so I had to think about it.
During the short time I had been ringing bells, my impression was that ringers in general like a challenge, get a thrill out of solving math equations and the like. I knew that was not me, so what was my reason and love of it? I responded, “I wanted to be part of the worship at the Church of the Transfiguration and I thought what a privilege it would be to proclaim either before or after a service with the ringing of bells.”
That sounded like a special way to serve, but little did I know what was involved in becoming a proficient change-ringer. I’ve begun to learn again how God takes my tiny seed of obedience, and blesses me mightily. I have grown to love participating in the bell ringing because it’s not only an integral part of the worship but it’s a “team” sport where we all work together to create something beautiful for visitors to enjoy. I couldn’t have explained exactly why I wanted to ring the bells, but in doing it God has opened the door for some very unexpected blessings. Through ringing the bells, God has truly brought joy to my life.