A stanza from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s, Ring Out Wild Bells, in the hope of stirring a more Christian attitude in our fair land of the free and home of the brave;
“Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.”
A thoughtful reading will free us from the attitudes plaguing our times. Think about the implication in the first two lines using modern language: Life style of the rich and famous, White Power, Black Power, Hyphenated American, Mixed Race, and on the old bell rings. May the Wild Bells of Christ’s love and truth ring in our hearts a love of truth which we are urged to buy and sell not, Proverbs 23:23, along with a serious commitment to the right thing, not the falsely given “rights” someone owes to us.
I was especially moved by the idea of “Ring in the common love of good.”
Good, according to Mirriam-Webster unabridged, has 98 variations. The etymology runs through Middle English, Old English, Old High German and on… It all comes down to the basic meaning: uniting, fitting. The 685 times “good” is used in scripture mean essentially the same thing.
So the common love of good means learning by God’s grace in Christ’s love that which unites, that which is fitting, implying that “good” will mesh with uniting to make something come together as complete.
Copyright © 2013 Larry Lilly