Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Huge Bell

One of my pet-peeves is when we sing worship songs in church in which we claim to do something, that we are not actually doing.
For example - we sing something like: "We lift our hands to praise you", but no one actually raises their hands, they just sing the song and stand or sit there.

I talked to another pastor once, who told me that he tells his church, that when they sing songs that say, "we raise our hands", that they should actually raise their hands in praise, because otherwise they are setting a precedent for themselves that they say one thing, but actually do another.
I think that's a really good point, and ever since, I have sought to do the same.

This came to my mind again, as I was recently somewhere where the worship leader happened to be singing a song called "I Will Not Forget," which, by the way, I think is a great and meaningful song. There are just two lines in it that make me wonder.

First, there is a line that says - A wild dance I dance before you.
I think its great to dance before the Lord as David danced - I'm all for that. It just struck me as odd to have a bunch of people who are sitting in chairs singing "a wild dance I dance before you".
Maybe its just me splitting hairs. Maybe its supposed to be metaphoric. Maybe its supposed to be a reference to something we do in general - not just right there. I don't know.

But the line that really gets me is the one that says - A huge bell I ring.
Now, I could see how dancing a wild dance is something a person might do from time to time, but ringing a huge bell? For the Lord? What is that? Is this some form of worship I didn't know about?
Not to mention that the word "huge" is not the most poetic word, I can think of only two instances where this might be actually true:
  1. If you are Quasimodo, or someone who does the same job as Quasimodo
  2. If you are in a bell choir, and it is your job to ring the "huge" bell (meaning that this would not apply to the people ringing the tiny, small, medium, or moderately-large bells).
Those people could honestly sing this song, knowing that what they are singing is really true!
Again, probably this is just metaphorical, but I just don't want to get in the habit of saying one thing and doing another.

9 comments:

  1. Maybe they are talking about a dinner bell. I know my uncle has a huge bell on his porch that he likes to ring when it's supper time. Maybe they are saying something like "Hey Jesus, I made a nice big meal for you! Come and get some!" Then you could do the "here's a cake I made for you" worship hands with it and complete the picture. In that case, I would rather say "a frigg'n HUGE bell I ring" myself...

    Kinda like saying "Hide it under a bush? HELL, NO! instead of "Hide it under a bushel, no" More emotion that way.

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  2. ROFLOL! You're frigg'n hilarious!

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  3. or maybe a cowbell?
    http://www.gifshare.com/uploads/images/20060914/thumb/6914_will-ferrell-cowbell.gif

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  4. Very funny, Nick! I think "we raise our hands" could be metaphorical as well, although it wouldn't be bad, if someone would actually do it (like you). It can mean "reach out to God / Holy Spirit".
    I think the "A wild dance I will dance before you" could be understanded metaphorical as well(you can dance in your heart = be glad), but there are churches where people dance during worship.
    The line with the bell: you could get a huge bell for our church, and always when we would sing "a huge bell I ring", everyone would ring it. :)

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  5. HSAK - I see what you're saying, but I really have a hard time just writing these kinds of things off as metaphorical. I think that when we read in the Old Testament, that people raised their hands to the Lord, or said, "I lift my hands up", it was literal.
    Therefore, I DO agree with your solution that IF we sing that song, we should buy a "huge" bell, and all take turns ringing it "unto the Lord"!

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  6. Anonymous10:50 PM

    Well, in Exodus 39:20 it begins to talk about what the Lord required Aaron as the "minister" of the Isrialites to wear. Blue robe possibly representing the throne of God, that is it set in the heavens which are blue. Bells around the edge of this garmet representing the words that he speaks to be edifying,healing, prophetic (all gifts of the spirit). The pomogranites/fruits of the spirit: love, peace, longsuffering, kindness etc...

    So back to the song...Let us "Ring our Bells" let us be filled with the Holy spirit who is the only one who can cause the words of our mouth and the gifts of the spirit to ring out.The bell is the alter setup on the priest garmet as a reminder to us all. Though we now have those alters setup in our heart so we do not have to hold a bell, or ring a bell. If we have an outflowing of the gifts of the spirits then we can stand without hypocracy.

    How many of us can do that today?

    Hope that helps!

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  7. Hi Anonymous!
    That's an interesting explanation - a whole lot of typology.
    I agree with your conclusion about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but do you think this kind of typology is what the author of the song was implying when he wrote this?

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  8. That used to bother me as well, until I realized that I didn't care if people didn't actually bow down when we sang about bowing down.

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  9. Rae - good point.
    Thanks for stopping by!

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