The words to the Christmas Carol O Little Town of Bethlehem were written by Phillips Brooks in 1868. He was an Episcopalian Minister in Philadelphia, PA. He was able to travel to Israel in 1865 and spent time in Bethlehem and rode on horseback out on the same fields where the Shepherd were believed to be the night the Angel visited them and told them...Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-20)
He didn't pen the words to this Carol until a few years later for the children's choir at his church.
I love the feel he gives us for the town of Bethlehem and what it must have been like that night. The picture he paints of a town and it's residents basically going about their nocturnal routine....sleeping deeply in the still night and darkened streets oblivious to the miracle that just took place in their midst.
It makes me think of our lives and the towns in which we live. The routines, the comings and goings, activities, life as we know it just happening. Some realize the miracle that we know happened over 2000 years ago and sadly some do not.
The people of Bethlehem did not know what happened that night. It was just another night in Bethlehem. It took Shepherds who came into town and saw the baby with their own eyes and then spread the word.
I pray for the town I live in and hope you pray for yours as well. I love the last line of the last verse that says "O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord, Emmanuel."
Pray that the meek souls of your town will receive Him still, and let the dear Christ enter in. (verse 3)