Hand bells are unique instruments, capable of a variety of sounds. Players can dampen the sound by way of a gloved finger, play the rim of the bell like a glass of water, produce a strong pop, or staccato sound, by striking the bell on to a padded table, or create a vibrato by moving the bell quickly back and forth with the wrist. The variation of sound is seemingly endless, but what makes bell ringing fascinating to me is the teamwork required. Each person, standing before four or five bells, is an integral part of the team; you can’t sacrifice one player and have a successful performance. Imagine ripping a few keys out of a piano keyboard before a piece is played…it doesn’t work. Everyone on a bell team is essential, forming a team dependent on each other. To drive that point home with my students I always had on display my bear pyramid, each tiny bear supporting another, a team. That pyramid served as a silly, simple reminder of the importance of playing well together!
The Bible is laced with examples of teamwork, beginning with the opening verses where we find the sacred Trinity working in concert, each completing their defined job in the creative process. God then creates Adam and Eve, the first human team, designed to compliment and support each other for a lifetime. God gives Moses a vision to build the tabernacle, but Moses would not build that structure solo, for God would provide a team, filled “with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge.” Ezra and Nehemiah would work to rebuild a dispersed nation, a destroyed temple, and broken walls, but they would need the manpower of thousands of Hebrew pilgrims to complete the task. Jesus Himself had a twelve-man team, marked by diversity-a tax collector, some fishermen, and a “zealot”-but all focused on the same goal. Trained at the Master’s School of Evangelism, they would be sent out on two-man teams preaching “that men should repent.”
Teamwork, the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way; that’s us! We acknowledge that Christ is our established Head, and it is He that adds His strength and cohesion to the bond that we as believers share. We have a commission, to be witnesses of Christ, “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We each have a bell to play, an indispensable role to fill, a teammate to support. Are you playing your bell with devotion and focus?
I Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
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