Monday, December 24, 2007

The Story of Christmas

Once upon a time in the land of Judah, there was a man named Isaiah.

One day he saw a vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of
Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
He said that the Lord himself shall give a sign:

" Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called

Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,
upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it,
and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever."

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about:
In the city of Galilee, there was a small town named Nazareth.
There lived a girl called Mary who was promised in marriage to a descendant of King David named Joseph.
Later, angel Gabriel was sent by God to speak to Mary,

"Mary, God has been gracious to you.
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.
God will make him a king, as the king of the descendants of Jacob forever;
his kingdom will never end!"

Mary said to the angel, "I am a virgin. How , then, can this be?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God's power will rest upon you.
For this reason the holy child will be called the son of God. There is not a thing that God cannot do."
"I am the Lord's servant," said Mary; "may it happen to me as you have said." And the angel left her.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to disgrace Mary publicly,
was minded to break the engagement secretly.
But while he was thinking about this,
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
"Joseph, descendant of David, do not fear to take Mary to be your wife.
For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived.
She will give birth to son, and you will name him JESUS:
for he will save his people from their sins."

Now all this happened in order to fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet,
"The virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,
and he will be called Emmanuel, which means God is with us."
So when Joseph woke up he did what the angel had told him and married Mary.

At that time Emperor Augustus sent out an order
for all the citizens of the Empire to register themselves for the census.
Everyone, then went to register himself, each to his own town.

Joseph went from the town of Nazareth, in Galilee,
to Judea, to the town named Bethlehem, where King David was born.

Joseph went there because he was a descandant of David.
He went to register himself with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him.
She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem,
the time came for her to give birth.

As there were so many people going back to their hometown for registration,
Joseph and Mary could find no room for them in the inn.
Then they came to a manger where Mary gave birth to her first son, Jesus.

And in the same country there were shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
An angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them.
They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them,

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host singing praises to God,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
"Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, that the Lord has told us."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and saw the baby lying in the manager.
When the shepherds saw him they told them what the angel had said about this child.
All who heard it were filled with wonder at what the shepherds told them.
Mary rmembered all these things and thought deeply about them.

The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen;
it had just as the angel had told them.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of King Herod ,
there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? For we saw his star came
up in the east, and we have come to worship him."

When King Herod heard about these he was very troubled,
and so was everyone else in Jerusalem .
He called together all the chief priests and the teachers of the Law and asked them, :
Where will the Messiah be born?"
"In the town of Bethlehem, in Judea," they answered.
"This is what the prophet wrote:

"And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda,
art not the least among the princes of Juda:
for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."

Then Herod called the wise men secretly
and found out from them the exact time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said,
"Go and search carefully for the young child;
and when you find him, bring me word again,
that I may come and worship him also."
Then they departed and on thier way they saw the star-
-the same one they had seen in the east-
-and it went ahead of them until it came
and stopped over the place where the child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they went into the house,
they saw the young child with Mary his mother.
They knelt down and worshipped him;
then they opened their bags of treasures,
offered him gifts: gold, myrrh and frankincense.

God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod;
so they went back to their country by another road.

by RidesAPaleHorse


Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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