(From The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language / Eugene Peterson / 2002.)
The Birth of Jesus
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
When they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped hm in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was not room in the hostel.
An Event for Everyone
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their Sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and Gods’ glory blazed around them. There were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, world wide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: A baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who elapse him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s go over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
From our home to yours, we wish you peace, joy, and happiness this Christmas Season.
Thanks you for this lovely post. Merry Christmas,
Lois Roelofs said:
You’re welcome. Besides being able to quote my user-friendly Bible translation, it was fun to learn how to create WordPress’s new “circle” gallery effect of photos. BTW, I heard Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message, speak three years ago, and I was impressed with his gentle and understated nature as an obviously brilliant man. Always a pleasure to meet an “author” you then like!
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