“Chimes” – An Alphabyte

Nick reads the Alphabyte.

Winter is here.

Gone are the birds, the sounds of leaves, the laughter of children
playing in the light-long day.
Windows are closed…Silence pervades.
Thus it is that bells and chimes have special power to awaken the soul
delighting the ear in the silence, even as candles bring joy
to the eye in the darkness.

Be careful of enemy noises seeking to turn the attention to the outer,
the frenetic, the hastenings for things and plans.
We’re not meant to despise the gifts and even the shopping.
Just be attentive to those bells and gentle chimes yhat call to inwardness,
to quiet, to a space that is hedged about by the Angel of the Lord
so that there can be announced to your heart as to Mary’s:

“You will conceive in your womb
and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.”
Luke 1:31

Alphabytes are object meditations
that move through the alphabet two times
in the course of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
“Chimes” introduces the Third Week in Advent:
winter in the north, summer in the south.
To view all of them, see the menu option Alphabytes

The Sweep of Saving Grace

Sunday, December 15
Matthew 11:2–11

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Juan Fernández de Navarrete – “St John the Baptist in the Prison” 1565-70
Oil on canvas, 80 x 72 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Winter’s cold holds trees captive, wrenching away all evidence of life. Trees that once swayed with summer songs are now touched and come to a silent, stark stillness.

John the Baptist, captive in prison, is also cut off from the evidences of the life-giving presence in Jesus. John begins to doubt, longing for a release from the torturing question, which throws him this way and that: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Does doubt dangle questions before you as well? The words that reassured John will do the same for you with the clarity of bells making these dark nights of the year echo with a summoning call to worship and to joy. Listen in the silence to the sounds of saving grace that sweep across your silent, emptied soul.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Blind seeing and lame walking. v. 5
Lepers cleansed and deaf hearing v. 5
Dead are raised; poor get good news. v. 5
Messenger going ahead v. 10

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the third of four weeks in Advent, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
Year A is dedicated to the Gospel ofLuke.

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Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.