no greater story



<!–[if pub]> 281 7772400 10058400 259 261 257 276 262 279 1 0“““““““““““ 5 1 0 285 282 1 False 0 0 0 0 -1 304800 243 True 128 77 255 3175 3175 70 True True True True True 278 134217728 8 Empty 16711680 52479 26367 13421772 16737792 13382502 16777215 Bluebird <![endif]–><!–[if pub]> 22860000 22860000 (`@““““` 266 263 5 110185200 110185200 <![endif]–> <!–[if gte vml 1]> True True (“““““` (“““““` 0 287 True 1801368 1570939 MCj03635620000[1].wmf <![endif]–> I can write nothing better or other than this for Christmas Day and I, of course, did not write it.

Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 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, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his kingdom.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”

The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For everything spoken by God is possible.

Mary said, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word.”

Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being great with child.

It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth. She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn. There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.”

Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,

On earth peace, good will toward men.”

It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.

For a child is born to us; a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. his ever-expanding, peaceful government will have no end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice.

For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

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