One holy night in Bethlehem

One holy night in Bethlehem. Mary Nelson Keithahn* (1934- ) This hymn was first published in Time Now to Gather: New Hymns for the Church Family (Nashville: 1998). This retelling of the story of Christmas, based on Luke 2:8-20, is childlike in both its text and tune. Indeed, each stanza allows us to revision the scenes of Christ’s birth with clear images in our mind. The technique of hypotyposis—painting vivid pictures through words—has been an effective tool of hymnwriters for centuries. In the wide variety of Christmas carols and hymns that we may sing during this season, some should allow us to reclaim Christ’s birth from the perspective of a child. This hymn allows us to do that...

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