Christ: A Christmas Carol

The Story of Christmas
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus

that the whole empire should be registered.

This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee,
to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,

because he was of the house and family line of David,
to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him tightly in cloth

and laid Him in a manger—
because there was no guest room available for them.

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields

and keeping watch at night over their flock.

Then—an angel of the Lord stood before them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look,
I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:

Today, in the city of David, a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angels, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!”

When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
“Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child,

and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary was treasuring up all of these things in her heart and meditating on them.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard,
which were just as they had been told.