The children’s book Off to Bethlehem! by Dandi Daley Mackall is a breezy, poetic telling of the story of the nativity has endearing illustrations by R.W. Alley, though I was surprised how much older Joseph looks than Mary. (I guess he looks like he’s 40 while she’s a teen. There’s nothing I know of in the Bible about their age difference. I’d be happier with a younger Joseph. How about 20?)
Off to Bethlehem! is a great introduction or reminder of the reason for the season.
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!Fall on your knees Oh hear the angel voices Oh night divine Oh night when Christ was born Oh night divine Oh night divine
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming Here come the wise men from Orient land The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger In all our trials born to be our friend
Truly He taught us to love one another His law is love and His gospel is peace Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His name all oppression shall cease Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy name
At church I learned that this carol was written by a piano seller. A pastor worked to get a new organ. He sought to involve as many people in his small village as possible. He asked the piano seller, who rarely went to church, to write a song and this was the result