Joy Bringer Ministries

List of Hymn Stories in PDF format

All for Jesus
All Hail The Power of Jesus Name
Amazing Grace
Blest Be The Tie That Binds
Christians, Awake! Salute the Happy Morn!
El Nathan
F. R. Havergal & The Consecration Hymn
From Greenland's Icy Mountains
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Holiness Unto The Lord
How Great Thou Art
Ira D. Sankey & The Ninety and Nine
It Is Well With My Soul
Jesus Lover of My Soul
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Jesus The Very Thought of Thee
John B. Dykes, Inspired Composer
Joy To The World
Moment by Moment
More Love To Thee
My Country 'Tis of Thee
My Faith Looks Up To Thee
Now Thank We All Our God
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Oswald J. Smith
Rock of Ages
Stand Up For Jesus
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Morning Light is Breaking
Then Jesus Came
What a Friend We Have in Jesus

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Joy Bringer Ministries



Hymn Stories

"a shelter in the time of storm" 


"O Little Town of Bethlehem"

by Robert D. Kalis



On Christmas Eve, 1865, a pilgrim traveled on horseback from Jerusalem to the “City of David”. It was already dark when the rider found the “Shepherds Field” and dismounted. Now it was evident why the rider had appeared somewhat awkward in the saddle. It was because of his size. A giant of a man, he stood six feet six inches tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds. The traveler would have been more at home in a pulpit than on horseback, for he was none other than Phillip Brooks, a prince among American preachers.

As he wandered over the same fields where many years before the angels had proclaimed the “good tidings of great joy,” Brooks noted that shepherds were still keeping watch over their sheep in the vicinity. The preacher looked up into the starlit sky. His spirit drifted back to the glorious night of the Savior’s birth. It was a moment of great inspiration.

He followed the steps of the shepherds who went to Bethlehem to see “this thing which is come to pass.” There, in the Church of the Nativity built, according to tradition, over the place where the Lord Jesus was born, Brooks assisted in a midnight service. As carol after carol was sung on that historic and sacred ground, the great preachers’ thoughts turned to the boys and girls of his Sunday school in Philadelphia.

Later he wrote to them of his Christmas Eve pilgrimage: “I remember standing in the old church in Bethlehem, close to the spot where Jesus was born, when the whole church was ringing hour after hour with splendid hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voices I knew well, telling each other of the Wonderful Night of the Savior’s birth as I heard them a year before; and I assure you, I was glad to shut my ears a while and listen to the more familiar strains that cam wandering to me halfway round the world.”

There, in the City of David, where the Psalmist of Israel had been inspired to write some of his sacred songs and where the angels had brought the “good tidings of great joy,” the inspiration for another carol was given to Phillips Brooks.

It was three years later, exactly one hundred years ago, that Louis Redner, Sunday school superintendent and organist of Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia asked his Pastor, Phillips Brooks, to give him a hymn for the Christmas celebration. The organist volunteered that if Brooks would write a hymn, it should be named St. Philip, whereupon Brooks replied, that if Redner should write the tune, it should be name St. Louis. Rather than write a new carol, Brooks gave the organist his poem of Christmas 1865: O Little Town of Bethlehem.

To listen to the music for O LIttle Town of Bethlehem click here.





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