BBN Radio
How to Get
To Heaven
Live ChatResourcesLanguagesContact UsDonations
Enroll|Browse Courses|FAQ|BI Streaming Help|About Us|Sharing Tools|Testimonials|
Student Login
Returning Student
User Name:

Forgot your password?
Forgot your user name?
Not yet a student
The Story Behind a Christmas Hymn

The Story Behind
A Christmas Hymn

On a December morning 145 years ago, Pastor Phillips Brooks sat at his office desk trying to write a sermon.  But the sanctuary choir was practicing their Christmas music and his mind was distracted. Memories of the Holy land he had visited three years before kept coming to him.  Bethlehem was a small town outside of Jerusalem where they raised sheep to be offered as sacrifices in the Jewish Temple in Old Testament times. Jesus was born in the town that was known for raising sacrificial lambs and He was the sacrificial lamb that was sacrificed on Mt. Calvary just a short distance from that Temple.

Phillips was a large preacher, more ways than one.  He was 6’ 6” tall but was also large mentally and spiritually. It is said that he could sing 200 hymns from memory and that when he preached he spoke at 250 words per minute.  He was known for his great love for children, always making time for them; it is no wonder he was greatly loved by them.

With his thoughts that day going back to Bethlehem, the words of O Little Town of Bethlehem flowed from his mind to his pen and paper.  He couldn’t wait to introduce it to his Sunday school children.  He carried it in his vest pocket for days and on the night before Christmas, his sleep was interrupted by a melody churning in his mind.  It was the perfect fit for his hymn.  The next morning he introduced the hymn to the children in the Christmas service and they sang for the first time O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Twenty five years later Pastor Brooks died in Boston.  A little girl asked her mother why she couldn’t see her “big friend” anymore.  “He has gone to heaven,” her mother tenderly responded.  With tears in her eyes his small parishioner sighed, “How happy the angels will be.”

The third verse of his hymn says:  How silently, how silently the wondrous Gift is given!  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.  That is still the message of Christmas.  Have you received Him as your Savior?  Your King?

Written By:   Shannon Dyess    Date Posted:  12/19/2013 3:20 PM
Number of Views:  4610

Previous: Moving Heaven
Login                                                                                          Online Bible   Copyright   Privacy    Site Map