The First Christmas
When they saw the Star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
The First Christmas
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said,"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"
"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. For nothing is impossible with God"
In the small town of Bethlehem 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.
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 swaddling cloths and lying in a manger".
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men". 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".
The shepherds came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. They fell down, and worshipped him. The Magi upon receiving this glorious message traveled to the Savior and presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The First Christmas Night
The wise men following the star seen in the eastern sky came to the place of humble birth and heard a baby's cry.
There was a straw-filled manger bed, unseemly for a King receiving precious, royal gifts the Magi came to bring.
Who would have thought that Mary's baby had come to save all men, to pay a debt that we might live -
There never was such singing, or a star that shone as bright as when our Savior came to earth on that first Christmas Night.
Meaning of Christmas
(author unknown since '97)
In Bethlehem the child was born to bring Love to earth.
Angels sang and shepherds came to praise Him at His birth.
But when the child became a man, the praise soon ceased to be.
And with their hearts all filled with hate, men nailed Him to a tree.
"If you be God, come down," they cried, but no on understood,
His Love for us demanded that He shed His precious blood.
Each Christmas when we give our gifts, and joy is everywhere,
I'll think of Christ upon the cross - "Twas Love that hung Him there."