Wednesday, December 24, 2008

O little town of Bethlehem

Perhaps nearly every Christian has some kind of thought or image that is especially potent to draw his heart and mind to God.

Mine is Christmas: that late one night, in an inhospitable, sinful world that was in desperate need of salvation, God was born as a baby.

Which is why this is probably my favorite Christmas carol.

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 gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond'ring love
Oh 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 wond'rous gift is given
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven
No ear may hear His coming
But in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in

Oh holy child of Bethlehem
Descend to 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!

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