The Christmas Story (Dec. 25)

The Christmas Story
(Christmas Day.)
Luke was a Greek physician, a man of culture, trained in the
best universities of the ancient world. He became imbued with
the spirit of Christ, and wrote the most beautiful story of the
birth and life of Jesus.
Read from the GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE Vol. 44, pp. 357-360

[1] Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree
from Caesar Augustus, that all the1 world should be enrolled. [2]
This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor
of Syria. [3] And all went to enrol themselves, every one to his own
city. [4] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of
Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David; [5] to enrol
himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with
2 0 Or, heart of mercy. 21 Or, Wherein.
2 2 Many ancient authorities read hath visited us. 1 Gr. the inhabited earth.

358 LUKE
child. [6] And it came to pass, while they were there, the days
were fulfilled that she should be delivered. [7] And she brought
forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in
the inn.
[8] And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the
field, and keeping watch2 by night over their flock. [9] And an
angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone
round about them: and they were sore afraid. [10] And the angel
said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings
of great joy which shall be to all the people: [11] for there is born
to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ3 the
Lord. [12] And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. [13] And
suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying,
[14] Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace4 among men5 in whom he is well pleased.
[15] And it came to pass, when the angels went away from them
into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even
unto Bethlehem, and see this thing6 that is come to pass, which the
Lord hath made known unto us. [16] And they came with haste,
and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.
[17] And when they saw it, they made known concerning the
saying which was spoken to them about this child. [18] And all
that heard it wondered at the things which were spoken unto them
by the shepherds. [19] But Mary kept all these sayings,7 pondering
them in her heart. [20] And the shepherds returned, glorifying and
praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even
as it was spoken unto them.
[21] And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him,
his name was called JESUS, which was so called by the angel before
he was conceived in the womb.
[22] And when the days of their purification according to the law
of Moses were fulfilled they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present
2 Or, night-watches. 3 Or, Anointed Lord. 4 Many ancient authorities read peace,
good pleasure among men. 5 Gr. men of good pleasure. 6 Or, saying. 7 Or, things.

LUKE 359
him to the Lord [23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every
male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), [24]
and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of
the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. [25] And
behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon;
and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation
of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him. [26] And it had been
revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death,
before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] And he came in the
Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child
Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the
law, [28] then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and
said,
[29] Now lettest thou thy servant8 depart, Lord,9
According to thy word, in peace;
[30] For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
[31] Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples;
[32] A light for revelation10 to the Gentiles,
And the glory of thy people Israel.
[33] And his father and his mother were marvelling at the things
which were spoken concerning him; [34] and Simeon blessed them,
and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the
falling and the rising of many in Israel; and for a sign which is
spoken against; [35] yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own
soul; that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed. [36] And
there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the
tribe of Asher (she was of11 a great age, having lived with a husband
seven years from her virginity, [37] and she had been a widow even
unto fourscore and four years), who departed not from the temple,
worshipping with fastings and supplications night and day. [38]
And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks unto God, and
spake of him to all them that were looking for the redemption of
Jerusalem. [39] And when they had accomplished all things that
were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee,
to their own city Nazareth.
8 Gr. bondservant. 9 Gr. Master. 10 Or, the unveiling of the Gentiles.
1 1 Gr. advanced in many days.

360 LUKE
[40] And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled12 with wisdom:
and the grace of God was upon him.
[41] And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast
of the passover. [42] And when he was twelve years old, they went
up after the custom of the feast; [43] and when they had fulfilled the
days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem;
and his parents knew it not; [44] but supposing him to be
in the company, they went a day’s journey; and they sought for him
among their kinsfolk and acquaintance: [45] and when they found
him not, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking for him. [46] And it
came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting
in the midst of the teachers,13 both hearing them, and asking them
questions: [47] and all that heard him were amazed at his understanding
and his answers. [48] And when they saw him, they were
astonished; and his mother said unto him, Son,14 why hast thou thus
dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing. [49]
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not
that I must be in15 my Father’s house? [50] And they understood
not the saying which he spake unto them. [51] And he went down
with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them:
and his mother kept all these sayings16 in her heart.
[52] And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature,17 and in favor18
with God and men.

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