“Every time a bell rings, another angel gets its wings.”
Ring-a-ling! Ding, dong, merrily on high… Sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling…
The holiday season is full of bell-sounds that herald the arrival of joys great and small. But I think the best bells are the ones little Zuzu Bailey speaks of in Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
In the film, Zuzu’s daddy, George Bailey, has so many problems he’s thinking about ending it all – on Christmas Eve! But as George is about to jump from a bridge, someone else jumps off first — and he ends up rescuing his own guardian angel. Clarence Odbody — a wingless angel — proceeds to show George what his town would have looked like if it hadn’t been for all of George’s good deeds over the years.
Clarence’s job isn’t simply to save George’s life but to show him the goodness at his own core. And when George “gets it,” a bell rings, signaling Clarence’s graduation to the next level of angelhood — the level with wings!
Have YOU heard any ringing bells lately?
I heard one at the grocery store… I was standing in line at the Outpost Co-op on State Street in Wauwatosa when the checker happily jangled a cowbell for the man in line in front of me. That man bought a bag of delicious groceries to be donated to the Hunger Task Force for a family in need. (I donated a gallon of milk — no bell from the checker, but there was a happy little jingle in my mind as I walked to my car.)
Upon which angels will you bestow wings this season? There are at least a million charitable or arts organizations, political parties, and causes to which you might give — including several right here at UUCW, like our Giving Tree, Ministers Make a Difference Fund, Split the Plate partner organization and our Endowment Fund. Perhaps giving to one of these would ring-ting-tingle the bells of your soul? (See inside this West Wind for more information about giving options like “text-to-give” and online giving.)
There’s more to giving than money, of course. Being a Sunday greeter, coffee-maker, or chancel table decorator would be a wonderful gift to our community. Joining a committee or the choir is a gift of time and energy — as is volunteering to teach in Religious Education, or saying “yes” to serving on the Board of Trustees. We also give — to the earth — when we turn down the thermostat and use less energy, or bring holiday lights to church to be recycled (look for the bin near the East doors!).
Ring-a-ling! Hear them ring!
Wishing you a joyful, thoughtful December…
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister