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amber07 (profile) wrote,
on 12-18-2005 at 12:55am
Current mood: cheerful
Music: Away in a Manger
Subject: The Birth of Jesus
In the town of Nazareth lived a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to marry a carpenter named Joseph. He was a good man and was a descendant of King David. Mary would often stop in the doorway of Joseph's shop to say hello. Mary and Joseph loved each other very much, and they looked forward to sharing a long and happy life together.

Long before Mary and Joseph had even been born, one of God's prophets made a very important promise to the world. The prophet said, "An unmarried woman will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel which means 'God is with us.' "

One day, Mary was busy at home when God sent the angel Gabriel to see her. "You are a blessed woman," Gabriel said. "God loves you very much." Even though Gabriel was bringing Mary good news, she was so afraid she couldn't speak. Then Gabriel told her, "Do not worry, Mary. God is pleaded with you. You will have a son and you must name him Jesus. He will be called the son of God. He will have a kingdom that will never end."

Mary asked the angel Gabriel, "How can this happen? I'm not married."

Gabriel answered, "God's Holy Spirit will make it happen. Nothing is impossible for God."

Mary thought a moment then said, " I want to please God. If this is what God wants ,then let it be."

Joseph soon heard that Mary was going to have a baby, and he was upset. He still loved her very much, but he decided it would be best to call off their marriage.

One night while Joseph was asleep, an angel from God spoke to him in a dream. "Joseph go ahead and marry Mary. The baby she is going to have is from God's Holy Spirit. After the baby is born, name him Jesus. That means he will save his people from all the wrong things they have done." When Joseph woke up, he went to see Mary to tell her about the wonderful dream he had had. They were married soon after that.

About this same time, the emperor of the country ordered everyone to go to their family's hometown to be listed for tax records. Joseph's family was from a town called Bethlehem, so he and Mary needed to go there to be counted.

They started off on the long journey to Bethlehem. Mary rode on a donkey, and Joseph walked along at her side. The trip was very hard, especially for Mary, because it was time for the baby to come. Finally, they arrived in Bethlehem. Many other people had also come there to be listed for the tax records. The town was very crowded with visitors.

Joseph tried to find a place that he and Mary could stay in for the night, but the inn had no room for them. Finally, Joseph took Mary to a stable because the baby was coming. There she gave birth to a child. She and Joseph named their newborn son Jesus, just as the angels had told them.

Mary wrapped the baby in wide strips of cloth she had brought from home. She gently laid Jesus in an empty manger, a place where the animals ate. Joseph and Mary were very happy.

That same night some shepherds were guarding their sheep out on the hillsides near Bethlehem. All at once they saw an angel from God in the sky. Great light flashed down around them and they were very afraid.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I am bringing you wonderful news. This very night a Savior was born for you and your people. He is Christ the Lord. Go and see him. You will find him in a stable lying in a manger.

Suddenly the sky was full of angels who joined together to sing praises to God. "Glory to God in heaven and peace on earth to everyone who pleases God."

After the angels left, the shepherds were very excited. "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this wonderful child," they said to one another.

They went straight into town and found the new baby with Mary and Joseph. The shepherds told everyone they met what the angel had said out in the fields. Mary knew she would remember the shepherds' words about her child for a long time.

The shepherds went back to their sheep, singing thanks to God for the new baby as they went. Everything they had heard and seen was just as the angel had told them.

A little later some wise men who studied the stars came from the east. When they arrived in the city of Jerusalem, they began to ask questions. "Where is the baby who is born to be your king? We have followed his star from the east and we want to worship him."

When King Herod heard about their questions, he was worried. He wanted to be the only king in the land. He called together a group of important men and asked them, "Where will the Son of God be born?"

"In Bethlehem," they answered.

Then Herod called in the wise men and tried to trick them. "After you find the baby, come back and tell me so I can see him too," he said.

The wise men set off for Bethlehem, following the bright star all the way. The star stopped right over the place where Joseph, Mary, and the baby were staying. The wise men went in and knelt down to worship the new baby.

They opened their bags and took out gifts for him. They brought gold, frankincense-which smells like perfume-and myrrh, which is a spice that can be used as medicine. Mary and Joseph were surprised at these rich gifts for the child.

Later the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod and tell him about baby Jesus. So when they started toward home, they went a different way.

After the wise men had gone, an angel from God spoke to Joseph in a dream. "Get up! Take Mary and the child to Egypt now. Hurry, because King Herod is looking for the baby and will kill him." Joseph, Mary, and Jesus left that very night for Egypt. They stayed there until the wicked king had died.

Then Joseph took his family back to the town of Nazareth where Jesus grew from a baby to a young man. He became wise and strong and pleased God in all he did.

-Treasury of Bible Stories-
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