Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BEAUTIFUL STAR OF BETHLEHEM


          I often wonder what it would have been like to be an Israelite being led by God with a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night.  It was direct visual evidence that God was with them and leading the way into the unknown.  Then there was the star of Bethlehem that went before the wise men and led them to see Jesus.  Again, visual evidence that God was leading.  And they too had the knowledge of God's presence and leading.  Don't you wish at times that God would give each of us a visual for us to follow each day as we move into the unknown?   But that is not the way He chooses to lead His children today.  Instead we have His written promises and His presence within our lives.  And as the words of this traditional Christmas song say, "Beautiful Star the hope of rest, for the redeemed, the good and the blessed ... Jesus is now that star divine, brighter and brighter He will shine."  For those of us who have been born into His eternal family, we are just pilgrims in this life facing the mountains and valleys that are ahead.  But we can say "Jesus, Beautiful Star the hope of light, guiding the pilgrims through the night, over the mountains 'til the break of dawn, into the light of perfect day, it will give out a lovely ray, beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on."  The writing of this carol was a little unusual but probably very appropriate for the Christmas story.  In an article in the Old-Time Times from 2004, Patsy Weiler writes, "Few people today realize the popular Christmas song "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" was written by the late R. Fisher Boyce in a Middle Tennessee milk barn in the early part of the 20th century.  ... The third of six children, Boyce loved music and was singing solo and in quartets by the early 1900s. In the spring of 1910, he married Cora Carlton  ... They would become the parents of 11 children, five of whom lived to be adults. ... In 1940, the Vaughan Company published Boyce's song  ... Boyce wrote "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" while the family was living on a dairy farm.  ... The songwriter's son, the late Franklin Boyce, recalled in a 1996 interview that his dad said he couldn't concentrate in the house because of noise made by the children. He walked across the road to the barn to find the solitude he needed to write.  .. .  His daughter, Nanny Lou, talked about helping her father put down the music for the song ... They worked all morning on the music at the piano, and it rained hard all the time they were working on it."  But together they completed this song which is sung each year at the Christmas season.  Over the years it has been sung often by various Christian musicians such as the Gathers.  So as you reflect upon the words of Boyce's Christmas song, realize that God still leads His children on this pilgrim journey.  He may not give us a visual star to follow, but He is always present to guide us and He will continue to do that until we someday reach that special land and experience that "perfect day".

(1)     Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
Shining afar through shadows dim
Giving the light to those who long have gone
Guiding the Wise Men on their way
Unto the place where Jesus lay
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh Beautiful Star (Beautiful, Beautiful Star)
Of Bethlehem (Star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us the light to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

(2)     Beautiful Star the hope of light
Guiding the pilgrims through the night
Over the mountains 'til the break of dawn
Into the light of perfect day
It will give out a lovely ray
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh Beautiful Star (Beautiful, Beautiful Star)
Of Bethlehem (Star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us the light to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

(3)     Beautiful Star the hope of rest
For the redeemed, the good and the blessed
Yonder in glory when the crown is won
Jesus is now that star divine
Brighter and brighter He will shine
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh Beautiful Star (Beautiful, Beautiful Star)
Of Bethlehem (Star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us the light to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

You can listen to it being sung here.   LISTEN

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