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wrapped in swaddling clothes"... Martin Luther
We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because He alone among all other prophets and gods, out of His great love for all people, sacrificed His life on the cross at Calvary that we can choose to be redeemed from sin and reconciled to God. He alone was resurrected from the dead and lives now to intercede and pray for those He has redeemed by His own blood. He alone will return to rule all of the nations with wisdom and in peace. Because of Him you can have a personal relationship with a personal God, live united with Him in this life and forever in eternity. This is how it all began...
La Vierge et des Anges,
Now, the birth of Jesus was like this:
In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a Galilean town, Nazareth by name, to a young woman named Mary who was engaged to a man called Joseph (a descendant of King David). The angel entered her room and said, "Greeting to you, Mary. O favoured one! - the Lord be with you!"
Mary was deeply perturbed at these words and wondered what such a greeting could possibly mean. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid Mary; God loves you dearly. You are going to be the mother of a son, and you will call him Jesus. He will be great and will be known as the Son of the most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his forefather David, and he will be king over the people of Jacob for ever. His reign shall never end."
Then Mary spoke to the angel, "How can this be?" she said, "I am not married!" But the angel said to her "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the most high will overshadow you. Your child will therefore be called holy, the Son of God."
"I belong to the Lord, body and soul," replied Mary. "Let it happen to me as you say." And at this, the angel left her. Afterwards, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. She stayed with her three months and then went back to her own home.
The Marriage of Mary and Joseph
Upon her return, just before their marriage, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. It was by the Holy Spirit, but he did not know that. Joseph did not believe her story about the visit of the angel Gabriel and thought she had given herself to another man while she was visiting her cousin.
Now Joseph, her future husband, was a good man and did not want to see her disgraced (by embarrassing her publicly and refusing the marriage.) So, he planned to break off the engagement quietly. But while he was turning the matter over in his mind, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not hesitate to take Mary as your wife. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant and she will give birth to a son, whom you will call Jesus (the Saviour) for it is he Who will save his people from their sins". All this happened to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah (7:14):
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Immanuel."
When Joseph woke up he did what the angel told him. He married Mary, but did not have relations with her as a husband until after she gave birth to her son.
At that time a proclamation was made by Caesar Augustus that all the inhabited world should be registered. This was the first census while Cyrenius was governor of Syria; and everybody went to the town of his birth to be registered. Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s town, Bethlehem, in Judea, because he was a direct descendant of David, to be registered with his wife Mary, now in the later stages of her pregnancy.
Nativity, Lorenzo Lotto
The Annunciation of His Birth by Angels
So it happened that while they were there in Bethlehem the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to her first child, a son. And, as there was no place for them inside the inn, she wrapped him up in a blanket and laid him in a manger (a feeding trough for animals). Then Joseph gave him the name Jesus, just like the Angel of the Lord told him to do.
And there were some shepherds living in the same part of the country, keeping guard throughout the night over their flock in the open fields. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood by their side, and the splendour of the Lord blazed around them and they were terror-stricken.
But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid! Listen, I am here to announce a great and joyful event which is for all the people around the world. This very day, in David’s town (Bethlehem), a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ, the Messiah and Lord. Let this prove it to you; you will find a baby, wrapped up and lying in a manger. And, in a flash, there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying "Glory to God in the Highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!"
When the angels left them and went back into Heaven, the shepherds said to each other, " now let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us." So they came running and they found Mary and Joseph and the baby laying in the manger. And when they had seen this sight, they told everybody what the angels said to them about this little child. And those who heard them were amazed and impressed by their words.
The shepherds went back to their work, glorifying and praising God for everything that they had heard and seen, which happened just as they had been told. But Mary treasured all of these things and thought about them constantly in her heart.
Source: paraphrase of the King James Bible, The Message Bible and the Amplified Bible.
The heart of God is always open to you and full of love for you. He
knows you by name.
You can have a real and loving relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
Just ask, with your whole heart, for Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart.
His presence will change your life forever. And He will always be as close as the mention of His name. :-)
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