Features

December 27, 2013

The Rev. Rodney B. Weaver: ‘The bell tolls for ...'

The year 2013 is fastly coming to an end. After today, there are only three days left. The month of December has proven to be very challenging. Dec. 14 marked a year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Families are still grieving due to last year’s tragic event. South African political activist Nelson Mandela succumbed to death during this month. His exit from the world stage caused all to remember his inspirational example of sacrifice for a cause. December marked his exit.

The year’s worldly events witnessed the Boston massacre Patriots Day bombing. Two brothers made a homemade bomb, which exploded, killing three persons, injuring 264 and crippling an entire city. Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines. It wreaked havoc, killing 6,000 and injuring almost 2,000 people.

The world’s economy continued to be bleak with little positive news. The plight of human relationships indicated that as a people under God, we continue to mistreat each other. A prime example would be the Syrian civil war in which more than 120,000 people have been killed.

Scripturally we have to be careful that we don’t remove ourselves from others’ situations. The Bible reminds us, “Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it to the least of my brethren, you have done it to me” (Matthew 25:40). This advice is shared by Christ at the conclusion of a parable.

The meaning of this Scripture should cause us not to neglect those with needs or issues. Our involvement in caring should not be abstract, but personal. Our struggle is shared by the tread of life. This Bible verse is further paraphrased by the works of John Donne in his poetic phrase, “No man is an island; every man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for me.”

The bell of 2013 has tolled and caused some to exit from their earthly existence (as aforementioned of Mandela). Their passing has left us saddened. Some were not as socially prominent as others, but nonetheless just as important to us.

The bell has tolled to recognize exits. It has also tolled to note the entrance of others. New life has come forth in the birth of babies. On Dec. 25 the bell tolled as the reminder of baby Christ’s birth-entrance into the world. December is the advent season wherein we celebrate the birthday of Christ. His entrance on the earthly landscape is praised by Christians worldwide. The Christmas season is upon us. It has seen us engage in family get-togethers, shopping, gift buying and celebrations.

On Dec. 31, 2013, at midnight, another bell will toll. It will mark the exit of 2013 and the entrance of 2014. Unfortunately between now and then, life’s events may cause some to leave due to death.

Whatever happens, let us be ever mindful when tragedy occurs, when bad things happen to good or bad people, the bell tolls for us. Conversely when others succeed academically, politically, socially or financially, the bell tolls for us again.

Some of our existence is shaped by others. All of our existence is shaped by God. You ask for whom the bell tolls. Whatever the issue, malady, success or failure, pain or joy, the bell tolls for us all. Have a happy new year!

Rodney Weaver is the pastor at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. His column runs the fourth Saturday of the month.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Le Miz 3 mlh.jpg Do you hear the people sing?

    Sometimes referred to as “the world’s most popular musical,” “Les Miserables,” an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1846 novel, has been performed around the globe in more than a dozen languages for nearly 30 years.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bryan Collins: God so loved

    In John 3:16, Jesus spoke of the Father’s love of the world, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

    July 11, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Those who help also serve Christ

    If the reader wrongly believes Christ can’t use you because you’re too timid to sing, pray, speak publicly, play musical instruments in worship services inside a church sanctuary, today’s devotional will greatly encourage you.

    July 4, 2014

  • New pastor for First Presbyterian

    The Rev. William McMullen “Will” Scott, currently of Indianapolis, Ind., has been called to serve as the pastor of Dalton’s First Presbyterian Church. Scott is only the 19th senior minister to be called by the congregation in the church’s 167-year history. His nomination was approved by the congregation Sunday, June 15, following a yearlong search.

    June 16, 2014

  • Bryan Collins: Men, step up

    On Sunday, our nation will celebrate Father’s Day. The observable differences in the way Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are celebrated could be attributed to several different factors.  Mother’s Day is typically a more sentimental occasion than Father’s Day because our moms are usually a little more sentimental. Moms are typically more nurturing and so we think of them differently than we think of our dads. It is too often the case that moms have to play the role of mother and father to the children.

    June 13, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: The powerlessness in aloneness

    God knows the fragileness of every human he has created. The first time God graded something as “no good” within his new creations is when he created the first human, Adam: “It is not good for any man to abide alone” (Genesis 2:18). God then created Eve.

    June 6, 2014

  • DLT play features bluegrass gospel music, comedy

    It is October of 1945, the war is over, and the gospel-singing Sanders family is back together again.

    June 1, 2014

  • O.N. Jonas Memorial Foundation plans for future

    The yearly meeting of the O.N. Jonas Memorial Foundation was recently held and plans for the future were discussed. The foundation (administered by the Creative Arts Guild) began in 1968 with friends of the late Oscar N. Jonas uniting with business, civic and educational leaders to establish an organization that could perpetuate Oscar’s aspirations for the cultural enrichment of all children in northwest Georgia. The foundation sponsors visual, performing and literary arts in Dalton Public Schools, Whitfield County Schools and Murray County Schools, and also Crossroads, Mountainbrook and the Dalton Regional Youth Detention Center. All programs are free to students.

    June 1, 2014

  • Robin Richmond Mason: Sit down for a season but stand firmly on your roots

    Proverbs tells us that a woman can live in such a way that her children will rise up and call her blessed.

    May 10, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Christ-like power from devilish thorns

    Today’s devotional is to the readers who have asked God many times to rid Satan out of their life, but as of yet he hasn’t  removed him. The Apostle Paul also experienced such heartbreaking misery.

    May 2, 2014