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O Little Town of Bethlehem

1    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.

2    For Christ is born of Mary,
    and, gathered 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 all the earth!

3    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.

4    O 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 Immanuel!

Text: Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893

“O, Little Town of Bethlehem”
 
---------------------“Yet, in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light,  The hope and fears for all the years are met in thee tonight.”
 
The text to this beloved hymn was written in 1868, first as a poem, with the musical score added three years later.
This has been one of my favorite Christmas melodies for many years.  The simplicity of the message combined with the power of the promise is comforting and heartening.
Here on  the darkest of nights comes the Light of the World. 


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