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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Story of the Nativity - Part One


Birth of Jesus Foretold
Luke 1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed
[2] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” [3] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
[4]

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born
[5] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant [6] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when [1] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, [2] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths 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 peace among those with whom he is pleased!” [3]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Angels played a huge part in the entire Nativity, especially Gabriel. Gabriel was the entire reason Joseph did leave Mary due to her apparent infidelity. Gabriel was the one that foretold and later announced the messiahs coming. I find the Angels to be the most intriguing of the biblical characters and beyond Jesus, the most dynamic. They tend to lend to the credence on my Unity belief, as every religion has had some form of the angels described in their writings.



ANGEL FACTS

The Christian View of Angels

The following are several of the basic beliefs that have been held by Christians throughout the centuries.

God created angels as angels (Colossians 1:16). They have never been anything else. People do not become angels when they die.
For when the dead rise, they won't be married. They will be like the angels in heaven. (Mark 12:25). We do not know how many angels there are, but the Bible refers to them as an innumerable company (Hebrews 12:22).

God created the angels as spirit beings (Psalm 104:4). Because they are spirits, they are unseen by human eyes. An angel takes on a form that can be seen temporarily if this will help an angel do his assigned task on earth. In the Bible, angels are highly diverse in appearance. They are usually so awesome when they appear that their first words are, "Fear not." Angelic appearances in the Scriptures include being seen as a bright light, fire, having wings (but never a halo), or like an ordinary person. As spirit beings, angels are not only invisible but also immortal. They never get sick or die. They are without gender as we know it, being neither male nor female, and they do not marry (Matthew 22:28-30).

A major characteristic of the angels is their strength. Angels are extremely powerful beings. In the Bible, they are described as "mighty ones" (Psalm 103:20) and God’s powerful angels. One angel was able to destroy the entire Assyrian army or destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. But they are not all powerful; only God is omnipotent. Angels sometimes require assistance from the Lord in their conflict with evil (Jude 9). - (Find Out More)

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