Ringing in the New Year

The Salvation Army bells make music all year long

The kettle bells of General Booth
that ring at Christmastime
are heard long after New Year’s is rung in.
They echo in the hopeful hearts
of those who’ve lost it all
who long for help so they can start again.

We hear them ringing in our heads
when we’ve gone back to work
and picture homeless folks without a job.
Those tiny bells still signal hope
when they’ve been packed away
for hungry street kids who don’t want to rob.

Those little bells amazingly
peal loudly in our ears
for they’re declaring war on poverty.
They call to mind God’s faithful troops
who fight against-all-odds
to shelter, feed and clothe with charity.

Salvation Army volunteers
who brave the cold and rain
are soldiers of compassion with a bell.
Their one-note rhapsody recalls
the good news of God’s love
that takes a preacher all twelve months to tell.