On a Thursday morning I found myself in a line of cars at Tim Horton’s in Bowling Green. Tim Hortons is located directly next to the church where my Pastor’s team meeting was supposed to start at 9:00am. Then again, in my mind, the line of cars I was behind was supposed to be moving faster. The cars moved ahead. I pulled up to drive-through speaker and someone said, “Welcome to Tim Hortons, how can I help you?”
I responded with, “Good morning, I would like to get a large coff…” The clock struck 9 and, “bong, bong, bong, bong, bong…” The church bell started thundering out an old-time hymn.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear that. Could you please restate your order.” Now I’m yelling at the speaker like I was shorted a doughnut hole with the line of cars behind me thinking that I am supposed to be moving faster. The bell kept ringing. It turns out that the third time was “the charm” as they say. When I received my order, the Tim Horton’s employee apologized and said, “I’m sorry about that. We’re always fighting with that bell.”
As I drove away, coffee in hand, I considered Lindsey Trinity. We are in the process of figuring out what it will take to restore our church bell. Our bell has history. A number of the wonderful saints from our church, have stories about the bell. Like many others, our bell has stood as a reminder to all who hear it that God is present and He is waiting for us to respond to Him. Our old-time bell maintains an ancient tradition, calling us back to a centuries old message about an unchanging God..
Today, more than ever, our culture seems to be fascinated with the next-best thing, the next-best self-help discovery, the next-best theory, the next-best poll and the next best-study. We’re attracted to them like all of these next-best things will bring us to a new and exciting place that nothing before it could possibly bring. I recently heard a phrase that captures this kind of mentality, “If it’s not new, it can’t be true.” Clearly, not all that is new misses the mark, but what of the ancient understandings?
Do we dismiss those as simply outdated?
It appears to me that the further we get way from the old, tried and tested truth of the scripture in our “post-Christian” culture, the worse off we are. I’m not going to cite stats. You’re already aware of them. Our churches need to continue ringing their bells, calling us back to faith and into relationship with God.
It may not be such a bad thing that people have to “fight with that bell.” It’s far better than ignoring the ancient truths of the scripture for so long that we risk getting our own “bells” rung by living outside of them.
Pastor Travis Montgomery