"Rejoice, O Bethlehem"
125th Anniversary Celebration: Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church
1. Rejoice, O Bethlehem 2. From Virgin soil has grown,
With saints and angels sing! The Father’s living vine.
The Root of Jesse’s stem Engrafted as His own
Is born: the Christ, our King. Our lives and His entwine.
This royal Seed, In us abide,
From David’s line, That fruits untold
True Son divine, From us unfold
Is LORD, indeed. That You provide.
3. May every tribe and race
Be branches of the Son,
Who on the tree of grace
For us salvation won. Text: Chad Bird
With one accord Tune: Darwall’s 148th
May praise resound
With joy profound
To Christ, our Lord!
• The hymn, from the outset, focuses on the dual nature of the name 'Bethlehem', both the birthplace of Christ and the name of the congregation.
• Using the language of 'root' and 'Seed,' connected with prophesies of the birth of Christ, it builds from there to the imagery of "Vine" in the Gospel reading of the day (May 06, 2012), as well as the cross as the "Tree of Grace."
• Given the ethnic diversity of the congregation, the opening line of the final stanza, "May every tribe and race," was apropos.