Soon after the angel's visit, Mary and Joseph were married. Mary was due to have her baby when they were told they had to go on a long journey to Bethlehem, to pay a special tax. Mary had to ride on a donkey for a few days over the hills of Gallilee.
At last Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. It was full with other people who too, needed to pay their taxes. Mary was very tired and needed a place to stay. All the public houses were full, and there was no room for them. Finally, one kind person said he had a stable and they were welcome to stay there.
A few hours later, Mary gave birth to baby Jesus in the stable. She covered Jesus in strips of cloth and placed him on a bundle full of hay. At that time, on a hillside near Bethlehem, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light was seen in the sky. They got scared. The light was an angel sent by God. The angel told them not to be frightened, because he had some good news for them. He said that the child of God had been born and the shepherds would find 'Him' in Bethlehem.
The shepherds went see the baby Jesus. When they arrived at the stable, they were filled with joy at seeing Jesus lying on hay. They knelt down and worshipped Him. They told Mary and Joseph how the angel had appeared in the sky and told them that Jesus was to be the Savior of the world. Far away in the East, Wise Men saw a new star shining high up in the sky. These men studied the stars and they knew this was a very unique star. They studied their holy books which mentioned that whenever a bright new star appeared, it means that a great leader had been born.
The Wise Men were determined to find the new leader. They went to Jerusalem to see King Herod, as they thought the baby would be in the palace. They asked to see the child that would be King of the Jews. The king was troubled. He thought this new king may take away his throne. He told them to return when they had found the baby so that he could worship the child himself.
The Wise Men set off to find the baby. They were guided by the star to the stable in Bethlehem. There, they knelt down and worshipped Jesus. They gave him gifts. That night, in the dreams of the Wise Men, an angel warned them that King Herod wanted to kill Jesus and told them not to go back to his palace. The Wise Men went back to their own country without meeting King Herod.
After the Wise Men left, an angel appeared to Joseph in his dreams. "Get up", the angel told him, "Take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for King Herod is going to search for Jesus to kill him" So Joseph took Jesus and Mary during the night, and left for Egypt, where he stayed until King Herod died.
When King Herod came to know that he had been tricked by the Wise Men, he was angry and he gave orders to kill all the boys aged two or younger in Bethlehem and the nearby area. This was to try and kill the new King, as his plan to find the location of the new king from the Wise Men had failed.
After Herod had died, Joseph had one more dream in which an angel appeared to him. The angel said, "Get up, take Jesus and Mary and go back to Israel, for those who were trying kill Jesus are dead". So Joseph took Jesus and Mary and they went back to Israel. But when he heard that Herod's son was now king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. So instead they went to Galilee, and lived in their old town of Nazareth.
Hence, the birth of Son of God Jesus is celebrated years after as Christmas.
Regardless of exactly when and where Jesus was actually born, our hearts overflow with thanks and joy that God to send his Son into the world for our rescue and salvation.
Celebrate Christmas with Our Friends:
Our Optimistic Octopus.
The Enthusiastic Elephant.
The Thoughtful Owl
Pretty Bird Header.
Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.