Posts Tagged “Birth of Jesus”
Centuries ago, in the city of Nazareth, a good and kind young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph, the local carpenter. Mary was a saintly woman who lived every day in an effort to please God.
One day, God’s archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared before Mary in her home. “You are highly favored by God and are blessed among women” he said.
Mary was troubled and fearful, but the angel comforted her. “Do not be afraid for you have found favor with God. You shall give birth to a baby boy and you shall name him Jesus. He shall be great and his reign shall have no end.”
Mary looked at the angel with astonishment. “But how is this possible?” Mary asked. “I am not yet married.”
The angel quickly answered. “The Holy Spirit will perform a miracle, and the holy child born of this miracle shall be called the Son of God.”
To Mary’s surprise the angel had more exciting news. “Your cousin Elizabeth, whom many thought too old and incapable of having a child, is already in her sixth month with her son. For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”
Mary kneeled before the angel and bowed her head. “I am the Lord’s servant and believe all that has been told to me.”
The angel then disappeared, and Mary was once again alone.
* * * * * *
In those days the government of Rome, ruled by Caesar Augustus, decided to tax everyone in the world. All were required to return to their home town to be counted. So, Joseph left Nazareth with Mary, his betrothed, to be taxed in Bethlehem.
Mary was now great with child, and the long, hot and tiring trip to Bethlehem was a difficult one for her. Just after they arrived, Mary began to feel the pains of birth. Joseph pleaded with the local innkeeper to give them shelter, but no rooms were available. “But you may use the stable,” the innkeeper helpfully suggested. Faced with the imminent birth, Mary and Joseph settled down in the stable surrounded by curious animals.
That night, a blessed miracle happened. Baby Jesus was born! Mary cuddled her newborn son as Joseph looked on with wonder. After a while, they wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in a warm, straw-filled manger for all to honor.
The heavenly angels spread the word of this tiny Savior’s birth to shepherds and kings alike. All of those who heard the story rejoiced that Jesus, the King of Kings and the Son of God had come to cleanse the world of its sins.
Royalty and peasants, believers all, followed the star that shone over Bethlehem to offer gifts and kneel before the new born king.
The Birth of Jesus
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel“—which means, “God with us.”
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (KJV)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a censusshould be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (KJV)
The Visit of the Shepherds
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (KJV)