The REAL story of Christmas as told by The Gospels of Mattew and Luke
(Matthew 1:18-25) 18This 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. 19Because 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.
20But 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. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus
(Luke 2:1-20) 1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
(Matthew 2:1-12) 1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
What a great week! Its been a week of family and fun. Jesalyn’s family was all together for a short couple days to celebrate Christmas (a little early). Her brother, Bobby, and his wife come in town from Florida. Her sister Delyn, and her husband and daughter come in from Wilmington, NC. Jesalyn took a couple days off work and I worked my week around this weekend so we can all just enjoy being together. It has been such a needed break from the stresses of life.
We exchanged gifts on Thursday morning following a brunch fixed by Jes’ brother. Here are some pictures of the family. Morgan (Jesalyn’s niece) had a great time. She got the Hello Kitty ear muffs in the picutre, a diary (with a lock and key), tons of clothes, a YooHoo fuzzy toy that she has “always wanted”, stickers, and tons of crafts. Jes and I got her the diary and fuzzy toy and it made my day that she would not put either one of them down. She carried the diary everywhere she went making sure everyone knew they couldn’t read what she was writing.
Last night we took a trip to Salisbury for dinner with Bobby and Grace and an old friend from Asheboro. We had a great dinner and followed it up by bowling for a couple hours. There’s nothing quite like the nostalgia of small town bowling alleys. It was complete with a retro snack bar and a DJ.
We still have an evening planned tonight. I’m looking forward to dinner with her parents and Bobby and Grace followed by a night hanging out with B&G. This week has flown by. It has been full of fun and family. Its amazing how you get caught up in life and forget the importance of family. Jes and I have been blessed with amazing families. I thank God for them all the time, but its times like these that make me realize just how blessed we are.