It Happened This
Gospel of Luke
- 1 In 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.)
- 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
- 4 So 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.
- 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be
married to him and was expecting a child.
- 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
- 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him
in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room
for them in the inn.
- 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.
- 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the
Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
- 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you
good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
- 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he
is Christ the Lord.
- 12 This 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, and on earth peace to men on
whom his favor rests."
- 15 When 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."
- 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby,
who was lying in the manger.
- 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what
had been told them about this child,
- 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said
- 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in
- 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all
the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had
The Gospel of Matthew
- 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time
of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
- 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the
Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
- 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all
Jerusalem with him.
- 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests
and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be
- 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 be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"
- 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them
the exact time the star had appeared.
- 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful
search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so
that I too may go and worship him."
- 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and
the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it
stopped over the place where the child was.
- 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
- 11 On 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 and of
incense and of myrrh.
- 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,
they returned to their country by another route.
- 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph
in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and
escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going
to search for the child to kill him."
- 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night
and left for Egypt,
- 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was
fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of
Egypt I called my son."
- 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi,
he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in
Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in
accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
- 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was
- 18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more."
- 19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt
- 20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to
the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's
life are dead."
- 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the
land of Israel.
I believe that the birth of Christ was God's act of
love for all of us and I am grateful for this gift. I believe that
Easter is the most important Christian event because it shows God's
greatest act of love, mercy and forgiveness. His love, mercy
and forgiveness gives us a place in his kingdom, if we believe. I
hope you do.
© 2002-2014 Roderick N. Lawson, DPhil