Churches in times past used to have something called a “belfry,” which was either a portion of the steeple or a separate tower in which was housed a bell. That bell would be rung whenever there was a death, or perhaps when it was time for worship to begin.
The bell in one church had not been rung for several years. One day when some visitors tried to ring it, nothing happened. They climbed up to find out what the problem was, and discovered that the bottom of the bell was plugged with wood.
That was strange, but stranger still was the fact that a small door had been cut into the side of the bell, with a padlock on the door.
They asked a few questions and found out that for many years the church had used the old bell as a strongbox for its money. Any money the congregation placed in the bell was safe, to be sure, but that was not what the bell was designed for.
Think about it just a moment. If we are not very, very careful, the sound of our witness ringing loudly and clearly for Christ from this corner will become like a plugged bell. We must maintain a deep commitment to the things which really matter and which help us spread the Gospel of our Lord. And this is a commitment which must be nurtured in our church as a whole as well as our individual hearts.
The question each of us must ask is “Is my witness for Christ like a plugged bell, unable to sound out the message of Good News?” And let us work to “unplug the bell.”
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com