The new year has arrived, and I have been reflecting on our times. My mood has been somewhat melancholy. The discipline of history has become quite sophisticated and nuanced, and we know more about our past than ever, and yet we seem no more interested in learning from it than before. And then the Holy Spirit put this poem in my path. It feels especially appropriate for the Trinity community, not only because of our beautiful bells, but because of our commitment to bringing Christ’s healing love to the world. It has renewed my hope, and I pray it may do the same for you.
A blessed new year to you all. Come, Lord Jesus!
by Alfred Lord Tennyson – 1809-1892
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;