The Reason for the Season
When Rome was a great Empire ruled by
Caesar Augustus and Israel was governed by King Herod, in the village of
Nazareth lived Joseph and Mary. Joseph was a carpenter and Mary was a
young virgin who would become his wife. Mary told Joseph of a dream in
which she was visited by an angel who told her she had been chosen to
bear the Son of God and his name was to be Jesus.
day the emperor sent notice that all persons were to register for a new
tax. They were instructed to return to the towns of their birth. Joseph
and Mary left Nazareth for Bethlehem. Mary who was with child, and close
to the birth, rode on a donkey while Joseph walked beside her. They
traveled for many days and only rested at night.
they reached Bethlehem it was night. They looked for a place to rest but
there were no empty rooms when they reached the inn. As they were being
turned away Joseph mentioned his wife was with child and close to birth.
The inn keeper took pity on them and told them of some caves in the
nearby hills that shepherds would stay with their cows and sheep.
Joseph and Mary went up into the hills and found the caves. In one cave
was a stable room. Joseph cleaned it and made beds of fresh hay. He
found a feeding trough which he cleaned and filled with hay to use as a
crib. The next night Mary gave birth to a son and they named him Jesus,
as the angel had said.
the child was born a great star appeared over Bethlehem that could be
seen for miles around. In the fields nearby shepards were tending their
flocks. An angel appeared to them surrounded by bright light. The
shepherds were frightened and tried to run.
Not," said the angel, "For I bring you tidings of
great joy. For unto you is born this day in Bethlehem - a Saviour who is
Christ the Lord."
this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
the sky was filled with angels, praising God and saying, "Glory to
God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men."
the angels departed the shepards set out for Bethlehem. When they
reached the cave they found the stable and inside was the child wrapped
in swaddling clothes.
the star shined over Bethlehem, in the east three kings would see it.
They knew it was a sign and they set off to follow the star. There was
Caspar - the young King of Tarsus, Melchior - a long bearded old man and
leader of Arabia, and Balthazar - the king from Ethiopia. They traveled
on camels for many days over the mountains, and through the deserts, and
plains. Always following the bright star.
they finally arrived in Bethlehem they found the child in the manger.
The 3 kings bowed to their knees and offered gifts of gold,
frankincense, and myrrh. They would stay the night in the cave and the
next day returned to their lands to spread the news.
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