Jesus Is Born At Bethlehem
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a young woman named Mary in
Nazareth, a town of Galilee. She was to be married to a man named Joseph
of the family of David. When he came to her the angel said: "Hail,
highly honored one! God is with you!"
She was startled by his words and wondered what such a greeting might
mean. But the angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found
favor with God. You will have a son and will name him Jesus. He will be
great and will be called the Son of the Most High."
Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, for I am not yet
married." The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you
and the power of the Most High will cover you; therefore your child will
be called holy, the Son of God." Mary said: "I am God's servant. May it
be with me as you say." Then the angel left her.
In those days the Emperor Augustus commanded that every one should be
registered. So all went to be registered, each to his own town. Joseph,
because he was of the family of David, went to be registered with Mary,
his wife, from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea
where David was born. While they were there Mary's first son was born.
And she wrapped him in swaddling-clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
In that country there were shepherds living in the fields and keeping
watch over their flocks by night. And an angel from God stood by them
and a heavenly light shone around them, and they were frightened. But
the angel said to them:
"Fear not, for behold I bring you good news
Of great joy which shall be for all the people.
For to you is born this day in the town of David
A Saviour who is God's Anointed.
This will be a sign to guide you:
You will find a baby in swaddling-clothes lying in a manger."
Then suddenly there was with the angel a great number of the heavenly
ones singing praise to God and saying:
"Glory to God on high,
And on earth peace, good-will among men."
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said
to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem to see this which God has
made known to us." So they went quickly and found Mary and Joseph; and
the baby was lying in a manger.
When they had seen him, they made known what had been told them about
this child. All who heard the words of the shepherds wondered, but Mary
kept these things to herself and often thought about them. And the
shepherds returned, thanking and praising God for what they had heard
and seen, as it had been foretold.
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