Preserving the Good – 31 Days of Christmas Carols/O Little Town of Bethlehem

Bethlehem—what sounds, smells, sights were experienced by those in the town on that night long ago? Did anyone sense they were living in a moment that would change the world and all mankind forever? In our own lives, what do we miss because we are focused on the ordinary, caught up in our everyday routines, rather than seeking the divine?

Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.” ~Micah 5:2

Bethlehem Gateway – 1898 – Photograph taken in 1898 – artist unknown

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM by Phillips Brooks

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.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to all 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 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;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Immanuel!

Perspective – Decorating Cheer Trending

I’ve never been one to follow trends, but I’ve done so accidentally, I’m decorating for CHRISTMAS. I didn’t know I was part of what might be a nationwide movement until I watched a news show yesterday on the topic. I’ve noticed in my area many people began to put up Christmas decor long before November even arrived. My husband and I chalked it up to warm weather and putting lights up with sunshine on your back instead of winter winds.

I’m going to bring out the Christmas boxes and ornaments one at a time. I’m going to hold them in my hand and delight in their history. I’m going to focus on the childhood faces of my sweet boys when I hold the glittered and painted handmade ornaments they made in my hand. I’m going to remember parents and grandparents when I use things that were precious to them throughout the years.

I always try to start with the Nativity. It is the reason for the season. It might be a cliche’, but it’s one I like and intend to live by through these next few months. The joy I have felt just thinking about bringing Christmas out early makes me think I might leave the beautiful reminders of God’s love up for a long, long time. Does the word ‘Springtime’ sound long enough?

Funny, I have no urge to buy anything new or change colors or placement. I want everything in the same old corners and rooms. Decorating early seems like a bit of insulation against the horrible circumstances of the current days. I wonder…are you decorating early too?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2).