The Story of Christmas

The Living Nativity


Matthew 1:18-24
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary and Joseph had promised to get married. But before they started to live together, it became clear that she was going to have a baby. She became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph was a godly man. He did not want to put her to shame in public. So he planned to divorce her quietly.

But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit. She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That is because he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this took place to bring about what the Lord had said would happen. He had said through the prophet, “The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” The name Immanuel means “God with us.” Joseph woke up. He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do. He took Mary home as his wife.

O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
O sing all ye citizens of heaven above.
Glory to God, all glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, for thee be all glory given.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:1-7
The Birth of Jesus

In those days, Ceasar Augustus made a law. It required that a list be made of everyone in the whole Roman world. It was the first time a list was made of the people while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be listed.

So Joseph went also. He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David. He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby. While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy. She wrapped him in large strips of cloth. Then she placed him in a manger. There was no room for them in the inn.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to all on earth!

Luke 2:8-12
The Shepherds and the Angels

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby. It was night, and they were looking after their sheep. An angel of the Lord appeared to them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them.

They were terrified, but the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy. It is for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord. Here is how you will know I am telling you the truth. You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”

The First Noel

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
In fields as they lay.
In fields where they
Lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night
That was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Luke 2:13-16
The Shepherds and the Angels, continued

Suddenly a large group of angels from heaven also appeared. They were praising God. They said, “May glory be given to God in the highest heaven! And may peace be given to those he is pleased with on earth!”

The angels left and went into heaven. Then the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem. Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby. The baby was lying in the manger.

Away In a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

Matthew 2:1-12
Visitors from the East

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea. After Jesus’s birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? When we were in the east, we saw his star. Now we have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Everyone in Jerusalem was troubled too. So Herod called together all the chief priests of the people. He also called the teachers of the law. He asked them where the Christ was going to be born.

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. “This is what the prophet has written. He said, “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are certainly not the least important among the towns of Judah. A ruler will come out of you. He will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”

Then Herod called for the Wise Men secretly. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go! Make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, bring me a report. Then I can go and worship him too.”

After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when they were in the East went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.

The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh. But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

John 1:1-5, 14, 15, 18
The Word of Life

In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him. Life was in him, and that life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not understood it.

The word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the one and only Son. John gives witness about him. He cries out and says, “This was the one I was talking about. I said, 'He who comes after me is more important than I am. He is more important because he existed before I was born.'”

No one has ever seen God. But God, the one and only Son, is at the Father’s side. He has shown us what God is like.

Silent Night

Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon virgin, Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent Night, Holy Night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glory streams from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing hallelujah
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent Night, Holy Night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

Joy to the World

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ;
While fields and floods,
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.