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 shine
In everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

How silently how silently
The wondrous gift is given
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of all his heaven
No ear may hear his coming
But in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive him still
The dear Christ enters in

Amen

O' Little Town Of Bethlehem

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US rock critic and MTV producer, Bill Flanagan, talked with Bob in November of 2009 about Bob’s recording of Christmas In The Heart. Here are excerpts.

Bill: You really give a heroic performance of O’ LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM. The way you do it reminds me a little of an Irish rebel song. There’s something almost defiant in the way you sing, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” I don’t want to put you on the spot, but you sure deliver that song like a true believer.

Bob: Well, I am a true believer.

Bill: Do you have a favorite Christmas album?

Bob: Maybe the Louvin Brothers. I like all the religious Christmas albums. The ones in Latin. The songs I sang as a kid.

Bill: A lot of people like the secular ones.

Bob: Religion isn’t meant for everybody.

Bill: Do you drop any hints about what you hope to get from your family?

Bob: Nope. Their well-being – that’s enough of a gift for me.
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THE RECORD

A star will march forth out of Jacob,
and a scepter will rise out of Israel.


Numbers 24:17


After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying, “Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. After assembling all the chief priests and experts in the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for it is written this way by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are in no way least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.


Once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star they shouted joyfully. As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:1-6, 9-11


So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:4-7


The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children – children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.

Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. John testified about him and shouted out, “This one was the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’” For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

John 1:9-18