(The Living Bible Translation Luke 1:26-50, Luke 2:1-20 , Matt 1:18-25, Matt 2:1-15 )
Bethlehem, in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. At about that time some astrologers (wise men) from eastern lands arrived in , asking, "Where is the newborn King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in far-off eastern lands and have come to worship Him." King Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, and all Jerusalem was filled with rumors. He called a meeting of the Jewish religious leaders. "Did the prophets tell us where the Messiah would be born?" he asked. "Yes, in Jerusalem Bethlehem," they said, "for this is what the prophet Micah wrote: 'O little town of Bethlehem, you are not just an unimportant Judean village, for a Governor shall rise from you to rule my people .'" Then Herod sent a private message to the astrologers, asking them to come to see him; at this meeting he found out from them the exact time when they first saw the star. Then he told them, "Go to Israel and search for the child. And when you find Him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship Him too!" After this interview the astrologers started out again. And look! The star appeared to them again, standing over Bethlehem . Their joy knew no bounds! Bethlehem
! How will you recognize Him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!" Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-- the armies of heaven-- praising God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven," they sang, "and peace on earth for all those pleasing Him." When this great army of angels had returned again to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on! Let's go to Bethlehem ! Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." They ran to the village and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. The shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds' story expressed astonishment, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and often thought about them. Bethlehem
with the baby and His mother," the angel said, "and stay there until I tell you to return, for King Herod is going to try to kill the child." That same night he left for Egypt with Mary and the baby, and stayed there until King Herod's death. This fulfilled the prophet's prediction, "I have called my Son from Egypt ." Egypt
Each once is encouraged all during this season to purpose in their hearts to read this wonderful and exciting story about the birth of Jesus. Take the time to answer any questions your children may have so the pureness and the simplicity of the story can find a special place in your family’s heart. Read it at family gatherings in front of the fireplace, around the Christmas tree, or at the dinner table. Be a part of spreading the true meaning of Christmas with your loved ones and even those you don’t know. Take this story to the convalescent homes, the homeless shelters, orphanages and hospitals. Share this story with anyone who will give you the opportunity to warm their hearts. We promise you, your heart will be blessed.
God sent the angel Gabriel to
Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin, Mary, engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Congratulations, favored lady! The Lord is with you!" Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to wonderfully bless you! Very soon now, you will become pregnant and have a baby boy, and you are to name him 'Jesus.' He shall be very great and shall be called the Son of God. And the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His ancestor David. And He shall reign over forever; His Kingdom shall never end!" Mary asked the angel, "But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin." The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of God shall overshadow you; so the baby born to you will be utterly holy-- the Son of God. Furthermore, six months ago your Aunt Elizabeth-- 'the barren one,' they called her-- became pregnant in her old age! For every promise from God shall surely come true." Israel
Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to do whatever He wants. May everything you said come true." And then the angel disappeared. A few days later Mary hurried to the highlands of Judea to the town where Zacharias lived, to visit
. At the sound of Mary's greeting, Elizabeth 's child leaped within her and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, "You are favored by God above all other women, and your child is destined for God's mightiest praise. What an honor this is, that the mother of my Lord should visit me! When you came in and greeted me, the instant I heard your voice, my baby moved in me for joy! Elizabeth
You believed that God would do what He said; that is why He has given you this wonderful blessing." Mary responded, "Oh, how I praise the Lord. How I rejoice in God my Savior! For He took notice of His lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation forever shall call me blest of God. For He, the mighty Holy One, has done great things to me. His mercy goes on from generation to generation, to all who reverence Him.
Now Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her fiancé, being a man of stern principle, decided to break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn't want to publicly disgrace her. As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "don't hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning 'Savior'), for He will save His people from their sins. This will fulfill God's message through his prophets--'Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and He shall be called "Emmanuel" (meaning "God is with us").'" When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her Son was born.
About this time Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation.
Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go toJesus was born in the town of
Bethlehem in Judea, King David's ancient home-- journeying there from the Galilean . He took with him Mary, his wife, who was obviously pregnant by this time. While they were there, the time came for her baby to be born and she gave birth to her first child, a Son. She wrapped Him in a blanket and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. village of Nazareth
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior-- yes, the Messiah, the Lord-- has been born tonight in
Entering the house where the baby and Mary, His mother, were, the wise men threw themselves down before Him, worshiping. Then they opened their presents and gave Him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But when they returned to their own land, they didn't go through
to report to Herod, for God had warned them in a dream to go home another way. Jerusalem
Then the shepherds went back again to their fields and flocks, praising God for the visit of the angels, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had told them.
After they were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up and flee to
For God so loved us that He stepped down from His rightful place as the Sovereign One (a spirit) and donned the flesh of humanity. He did this so He could experience life as we know it and endure the very same trials and temptations we experience, and yet not sin. He can be in tune with our issues and struggles in a more intimate way. The birth of Christ was the beginning of His outward expression of how precious we are to Him. His Resurrection (the day we celebrate as Easter), is the completion of His outward expression. For the bible says that there is no greater love than a man to lay down his life for a friend. Well on that great day Jesus laid down His life on the cross so we would have a chance of eternal life and a wonderful fellowship with our Father.
This is why we celebrate the birth of Christ, intimately known to the world as Christmas.