Wednesday, December 15, 2004

It came to pass that a blind beggar boy in Bethlehem heard that shepherds had told the townspeople about a "choir of angels who came to announce that the King of Israel was born and they would find him sleeping in a manger in one of the town;s stables."

The boy pleaded with passersby to take him to the baby, but everyone ignored his request and rushed on their way. As the crowds dispersed and as night grew dark and silent, the little boy could faintly hear the sound of a cow's bell somewhere nearby. He wondered who or what was keeping a cow awake so late at night.

The blind beggar boy quickly cam to the conclusion that the reason the cow was stirring might be a baby and its family staying in the stable. Maybe the cow had to stretch its neck way out to eat hay because the family was using the manger as a bed for their new baby. Maybe that's why the bell was ringing...

He carefully made his way through the streets, following the sound of the bell, until it led him to a stable where he faintly hear a mother singing a lullaby. He knew then that he had found the newborn King, thanks to this first Christmas bell.

Bells have always held a certain appeal throughout the year and a special significance during the Christmas season. Silver bells, silver bells, it's Christmas time in the city... continually ringing bells outside department stores encouraging all to place loose change in the Salvation Army bucket... everytime a bell rings, an angel gains his/her wings... the Christmas Day dawn announced by thundering church bells... sleigh bells ring, are you listening?... wedding bells and vesper bells and new year's bells and funeral bells... marking and inviting us to the wonderful and powerful moments of Life...

So, what have been the "bells" in your 2004? What have been those moments and events that suddenly grabbed your attention and called you to a new adventure? And what have been those moments and events, that during some of your darkest moments, have turned into a blessing and led you to a more enriched life?

You will again hear the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play... and here's to all those bells that will ring throughout your 2005 - in your dark nights and clear days - leading you to the birthplace of so many new adventures...

hoedl's haven
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