23.12 // Christmas // i/iii
the angel

matthew 1:18-25 niv

this is how the birth of Jesus the messiah came about: his mother mary was pledged to be married to joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the holy spirit. because joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

but after he had considered this, an angel of the lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “joseph son of david, do not be afraid to take mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the holy spirit. she will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

all this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
when joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took mary home as his wife. but he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. and he gave him the name Jesus.
24.12 // Christmas // ii/iii
the star

matthew 2:1-12 nlt

Jesus was born in bethlehem in judea, during the reign of king herod. about that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in jerusalem, asking, “where is the newborn king of the jews? we saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

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 in 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!”

after this interview the wise men went their way. and the star they had seen in the east guided them to bethlehem. it went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. when they saw the star, they were filled with joy! they entered the house and saw the child with his mother, mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. then they opened their treasure chests and gave him 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.
25.12 // Christmas // iii/iii
the king

luke 2:6-21 nlt

and while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. she gave birth to her firstborn son. she wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

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 saviour—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 a vast host of others—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. all who heard the shepherds’ story were 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.

eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.

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