Advent Calendar Day 19: O Little Town Of Bethlehem

You know I think one of the reasons people love Ol’ Blue Eyes is that he was decidedly a sinner more than a saint.  He made into The Godfather through the conductive medium of Johnny Fontane, a character whose Corleone-assisted contract re-negotiations were inspired by the stories about certain incidents early in Sinatra’s career.  Classic bad boy, undeniably cool as a cucumber, and he is, ushering us into the Palestinian night with words lade down by an Episcopal priest who spent some time as Bishop of Massachusetts.  Of these two men, Frank Sinatra and Phillips Brooks, one was the son of a lightweight boxer from Hoboken and one came from a long line of Boston clergy, and you can guess which was which.

On the streets of Bethlehem, and in the eyes of Jesus, they stand equal, and so do all the rest of us.  And mark it, we do stand on those streets.  The hopes and fears of all the years, met in thee tonight.  O Bethlehem Ephrathah, least of the clans of Judah, from you comes the one who is to rule Israel, the one come from the days of old long gone.  Here’s the fulcrum hope may swing on, in this backwater of backwaters.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!

No ear may hear His coming,
But in the world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?

So these nights find us, insignificant motes in a big universe, walking the narrow streets of an insignificant town, looking for a little quiet redemption.


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