i believe in miracles

do you? why not add your miracles too?

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It Was an Ordinary Night Until…Luke 2:8-20; Matt. 1:22-23 (how I would say it)

Some shepherds lived out in the fields nearby the barn. On the night Jesus was born, they were tending their sheep outside when all of a sudden they saw something amazing surrounding them—not of this world—and then a being appeared to them. It was terrifying.

The being said, “Don’t be afraid. I’ve got great news that’s going to make everyone happy. Today, right over there in Bethlehem, the Rescuer has been born. He’s the one God has appointed to rule. You’ll know you’ve found him when you see a baby wrapped in rags and cradled in a feed trough.”

All of a sudden there was a whole military company of these beings in the sky and they were saying, “All the credit goes to God who lives in the highest places outside of time and space. Peace to the people of Earth who God favors.”

Then they were gone.

The Shepherds said, “We ought to go to Bethlehem and find this baby that… that… thing told us about.”

They rushed off and were able to find Mary, Joseph and the baby, cradled in a feed trough. After seeing this, they told everyone they could what had happened and who this child was. Everyone who heard their story was amazed. Mary took careful note of everything that was happening and she contemplated it—not with her head, but with her heart.

The shepherds eventually went back to tending sheep, but for a long time after, they marveled and were in awe at how God announced the child’s birth to them and how they found the child exactly as the being had described.

This all went down just the way God said it would hundreds of years earlier through the words of a prophet: “A virgin will conceive and give birth to a son who will be known as God with us on Earth.”

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Jesus’ Humble Beginnings: Matthew 1:18b-21, 24-25a Luke 2:1-7; (how I would say it)

Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, but before the wedding, it became obvious that she was pregnant (with God’s child). Joseph was an upright kind of guy and didn’t want to make a huge scene, so he thought he would just end the engagement quietly.

He was all but decided on this course of action when he had a dream in which an other-worldly being appeared to him and said, “Joseph Davidson, don’t be afraid to marry Mary. The child she’s carrying belongs to God’s Holy Spirit. It’s going to be a boy and you will name him Jesus. And he’s going to rescue those who belong to him from the punishment their human condition deserves.”

When Joseph woke up, he went along with the dream and married Mary. However, he was careful not to have sex with her until after she gave birth.

Around this same time, the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, who controlled the nation of Israel, issued a mandate for a census of the entire Roman Empire. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was the governor of Syria, fyi.) So everyone had to go to their ancestral home to register. That meant that Joseph had to leave his present home in Nazareth, Galilee, and go back to Bethlehem, Judea, which is where all the Davidson’s were from. He took Mary along, pregnant as she was.

Bethlehem was packed with people and there was absolutely no lodging, so they had to stay in a barn. While they were in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor and gave birth to a son, her first child. Lacking the proper supplies for a newborn, they just wrapped him in whatever cloth they could find and used the animals’ feed trough as a cradle.