The Story Of The Birth Of Jesus Christ
About two thousand years ago, in the town of Nazareth in Israel, there lived a young virgin woman named Mary. She was pledged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter.
One day an angel appeared before her and told her: "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."
Sure enough, before Mary and Joseph came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. This bothered Joseph a lot, but he was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace.
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.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone had to go to their hometown to register. So Joseph, with his pregnant wife on a donkey, also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he was from the house David.
Bethlehem was crowded with other people who needed to register. Mary was very tired and needed a place to stay. At each inn, the story was the same. There was no room for them. Eventually, one kind innkeeper said he had a stable where he kept his animals. They were welcome to stay there. The time came for the baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn, a son, in that stable. She wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger full of hay.
At the same time, on a hillside overlooking Bethlehem, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light appeared in the sky. They were very afraid. It was an angel sent by God. The angel told them not to be afraid, because he had some good news. He said the Son of God had been born and they would find Him in Bethlehem.
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."
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.
Far away in the East, Wise Men saw a new star shining high in the sky. These men studied the stars and they knew this was a very special star. They studied their scrolls where it said that whenever a bright new star appeared it meant that a great ruler had been born.
The Wise Men decided to find this new ruler. They went to Jerusalem to see King Herod, as they thought the baby would be in the palace. They asked to see the child that would be King of the Jews. The king was troubled. He thought this new king may take away his throne. He told them to return when they had found the baby so that he could worship the child himself.
The Wise Men set off to find the baby. They were guided by the star to the stable in Bethlehem. Here they knelt down and worshipped Jesus. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. That night, the men had the same dream where an angel warned them that King Herod wanted to kill Jesus and told them not to go back to his palace.
The Wise Men went back to their own country without calling to see Herod. Soon after Joseph had a dream where an angel told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt as King Herod had ordered that Jesus be killed. They left Bethlehem right away. When the wise men did not return, Herod ordered that baby boys in Bethlehem be killed. They did not find Jesus as he was safe.