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;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
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.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
By Alfred Lord Tennyson
In a spiritual sense, ringing out the old and bringing in the new is analogous to Second Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The sinful things we are to ring out in our former lives gives way to the good changes we bring in when we put on Christ in the new life he gives. It’s similar to leaving the old year behind with the aim of making the new year better and happier. Our minds, however, can always slip back to those times of doom, despair, and disappointment if we dwell on them too much. But as new creatures in Christ, we press ahead into the new life and the new year as the Apostle Paul said: Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
We press forward toward that glorious goal as we put our faith, hope, and love into practice each day God graciously gives us. The prize we seek motivates us to pursue that higher call every moment of every day we live. Just think of it: Every year that comes and goes brings us that much closer to the grand appearing of Jesus our Saviour!
May God bless you abundantly in this year of 2014 as you diligently serve the Lord while anticipating the return of Christ on that Great Day!
And for your inspiration, link onto this nice hymn with a familiar tune and Tennyson’s timely poem: http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/r/i/ringout.htm
Good News to you!