Musings + Essays

O Little Town.

By: Jen Shoop

I’ve written about this song many times before (including in this post while living in Manhattan) because it is my all-time favorite carol as well as my children’s nightly lullaby:

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.

The imagery of dark streets illuminated, and years of dreamless sleep ended, are touchstones for me.

We are in so many ways living in a figurative Bethlehem right now: anticipating, straining for light, sustained by hope yet burdened by fear. I hope this Christmas you have a moment where you look around and see the light around and within!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Let me hold you while I may.

P.P.S. On saying what I think.

P.P.P.S. The only way out is through.

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8 thoughts on “O Little Town.

  1. Hi Jen! Belatedly commenting as I catch up on your posts, but I love your reflection on O Little Town of Bethlehem! This Christmas hymn has a special place in my heart—it was written by the rector of a church in Philadelphia, my home city.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing with us this year; it has moved me and provided comfort upon many occasions. I hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas. Wishing you a peaceful 2022!

    1. So interesting and cool that the song was written by the rector of a church in Philly! It’s mind-boggling some of these hymns were written not that long ago. Somehow it feels like they should all have been composed centuries ago?

      Thank you so much for the generous comments, and for your encouragement and readership and patronage! Happy to have you here!


  2. Merry Christmas to you too! I love reading your thoughtful blog throughout the year. Thank you for sharing your wise words.

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