I n biblical Greek, “Philadelphia” means “City of Brotherly Love.” One of Carl Sandburg’s poems, “Chicago,” calls this sprawling Midwestern metropolis the “City of the Big Shoulders.” Not a big city like Chicago or Philadelphia, Bethlehem is rooted in the early eighth century B.C. prophecy, Micah 5:2: The town of “Bethlehem, small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel.”
The first stanza to “O Little Town of Bethlehem” highlights Micah’s central truth: A town small in size is the source of significant Sovereignty. Portraying a small, still and sleeping town, this carol’s powerful shining stars implode the darkness to radiate Eternal Light’s salvific stream. This Light connects our hopes and conquers our fears.
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