Posted by: Larry Hoekman | December 17, 2014

Christmas Carols – Bethlehem – Jesus’ birthplace

Day 1906: Another great carol! 

Scripture:  But you Bethlehem . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.  Micah 5:2  . . .while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.  Romans 5:b

Thoughts/questions:  If I were to state that in the 28nd century the ruler of the world would be born in my small town of Nipomo, many would call me crazy.  Yet almost a thousand years before Jesus was born, Micah predicted that an eventual ruler of Israel would be born in the small shepherds’ town of Bethlehem.  This prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus through whom meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

O Little Town of Bethlehem was first written as a poem by Phillip Brooks in 1867 after visiting the actual town.  A year later, the organist at his church, Lewis Redner, created the music, and the song is believed to have first been sung by their Sunday School children’s choir.  It truly is a song of hope as the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight!  Let your hopes and fears rest in the babe of Bethlehem!  Please read it first, then sing with hope and without fear!

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!  Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.  Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary; and gather all above; while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wond’ring love.  O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth’ and praises sing to God, the King, and peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is giv’n! So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heav’n.  No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

O holy child of Bethlehem, descend on us, we pray.  Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.  We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell.  Oh come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emmanuel. 

Suggested prayer:  Father, thank You for Your wondrous gift of Jesus.  And Jesus, thank You for casting out my sin and entering into my life . . .

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