They came to Bethlehem by night,
Just a little town
With narrow, crooked little streets
Running up and down.
No one to welcome them--
Doors were barred for the night,
And all within the little town
Slept--till morning light.
The wayside inn--oh, let us knock,
Keeper, please, your door unlock,
We're tired and weary--have travelled far,
No room--no room--I know not whom you are.
Oh--wait--look! There's the manger,
It's empty--rest therein.
Oh, little town of Bethlehem,
How poor your welcoming.
The people slept--the wise men came
Whispering the Messiah's name,
And shepherds, too, from the hillside steep,
Oh, little town--how can you sleep?
Morning came--did the people hear all right?
The shepherds say they saw the angels bright,
and heard them sing:
"Glory to God--peace, goodwill to earth we bring."
And wisemen came and left their gifts
So precious and so rare,
And in yon manger lies
The holy Babe so fair.
Oh, little town--when morning came
The people softly stepped,
And knelt in adoration
Where Christ, the Messiah slept.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; ( because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
--Luke 2:1, 3-7
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