Sunday, December 25, 2005
The meaning behind the celebration of Christmas. A good review for us all.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,
Luke 1:27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Luke 1:29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Luke 1:30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
Luke 1:32 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,
Luke 1:33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Luke 1:34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
Luke 1:35 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.
Luke 1:36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God."
Luke 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
Luk 1:39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,
Luke 1:40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth.
Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is thee child you will bear!
Luke 1:43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luke 1:44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
Luke 1:46 And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord
Luke 1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
Luke 1:48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
Luke 1:49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me--holy is his name.
Luke 1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
Luke 1:51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
Luke 1:52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
Luke 1:53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Luke 1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
Luke 1:55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."
Luke 1:56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Luke 2:1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
Luke 2:2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
Luke 2:3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
Luke 2:4 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.
Luke 2:5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
Luke 2:6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
Luke 2:7 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.
The Shepherds and the Angels
Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Luke 2:10 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.
Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:15 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."
Luke 2:16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Luke 2:17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
Luke 2:18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.