Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jesus

By Mary Vee







Let's sing happy birthday to Jesus. 

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Jesus,
Happy birthday to you.




And now, the story behind Jesus' birth:




From Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 2


The Birth of Jesus
Photo Courtesy
At that time, the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) Every man, woman and child returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now very pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son, wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there were no available hotel rooms for them.



The Shepherds and Angels
Photo courtesy
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by many other angels—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. Everyone who heard the shepherds’ story was astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

The Wise Men from the East
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the reign of King Herod. Wise men from eastern lands travelled to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
Photo Courtesy
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:
‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
The wise men followed the directions to the south. The star they had seen while in the east reappeared, filling the wise men with joy. It went ahead of them, guiding them to Bethlehem and stopping over the place where the child was living. They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and bowed to worship him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave the new king gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
AND
THANK YOU, GOD, FOR SENDING US YOUR SON

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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!