Read: 1 Kings 19:11-12
Ding Dong Merrily on High
The lyrics are from English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934), and the carol was first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons. Woodward took an interest in church bell ringing, which no doubt aided him in writing it.
Tune: Brane de l’Official, from Thoinot Arbeau’s Orchesographie, (1588), harmonized by Charles Wood
Ding Dong! merrily on high
In heav’n the bells are ringing
Ding, dong! verily the sky
Is riv’n with angel singing
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis
E’en so here below, below
Let steeple bells be swungen
And i-o, i-o, i-o
By priest and people be sungen
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis
Pray ye dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers
May ye beautifully rime
Your evetime song, ye singers
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis.
We seem to have so many bells and chimes and rings in our lives. Whether the microwave is letting us know that the “homemade” chicken nuggets are ready, or our car is beeping to tell us that our seatbelt is unbuckled, or that super annoying “Aaaeee! Aaaeee! Aaaeee!” coming from our alarm clock is piercing through the dark bedroom to jolt us from our slumber; our lives are surrounded by noises and alarms. These alarms can mean so many different things.
From this classic, beautiful Christmas carol we are drawn a picture of the celebrating chimes from heaven. It’s almost as if the author of this song is describing the way we might hear a call from heaven. In several different passages, scripture describes how someone heard from God. In some instances it was a booming sound like thunder and in others a still, small voice.
Have you ever heard that gentle whisper calling you like Elijah heard in 1 Kings 19:12? God can call us in many different ways. But what he calls each of us to is unique. He may be calling you to minister to a friend going through a tough holiday season. He may be calling you to a new profession. God can use medical doctors to serve those who cannot afford treatment, contractors to build a school in a poverty stricken country, or a lawn care worker to cut the grass of an elderly widow in the neighborhood. Whatever your talent might be, God can use it to bless others. The important thing is for you to listen to His voice, just like the beautiful chimes from heaven. He is calling you to be a light in someone’s life this Christmas.
So, go ahead and hit that snooze on your alarm clock, but answer the call of the Father on your life.
- How have you heard from God in the past?
- What is God calling you to do for someone else this Christmas season?
From Carols: A Christmas Devotional
God is with us – in answered promises, realized dreams, and refreshed hope. How could we help but sing. During this Christmas season, explore the songs that were born from our joy that Christ has entered the world and rediscover their relevance in your life today in this 25-day reading plan.
We would like to thank LifeChurch.tv for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: www.lifechurch.tv