Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bethlehem Creche

The angel said, "Don't be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people."
Luke 2:10

This evening I was honoured to read the Christmas story to those who gathered for family service at our church. I know the passage well but somehow it seemed all the more moving and powerful as I practiced reading it aloud at home before the service. The original Bethlehem creche is recreated in my little abode in a beautiful, hand-carved creche that Mom purchased in Bethlehem. I will treasure it.

May the hope, joy, peace and love of Christmas fill each of us tonight and shine outwards to others for all our days!

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax list. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David's house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David's city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord's angel stood before them, the Lord's glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

The angel said, "Don't be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David's city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, "Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."

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