The Story of the Nativity - "The Birth of a Babe"
A magnificent brightness lit up the sky when an angel appeared to Mary, a young pure women, who was engaged to be married to Joseph. The angel announced that she was going to have a baby.
"That's impossible for I am not yet married," answered Mary.
"This baby will be very special. He will be the Son of God."
Although Mary did not fully understand she agreed to the Word of God. She was devout.
Some months later Mary and Joseph were married. When it was near to her time they travelled to Bethlehem but found it very crowded. Not a room was available. Then one kind man noticing how tired and heavy with child she was offered them the use of a stable.
Gentle animals - cows, donkeys, lambs and poultry - greeted them. During the night Mary's boy child was born. She wrapped the baby Jesus in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger cushioned with hay. The cows, donkeys and sheep peered into the manger and with their constant breathing kept the baby warm whilst Mary slept.
Out in the countryside beyond Bethlehem the bright light that appeared in the sky was seen by some shepherds tending their flocks. They became frightened until an angel appeared and told them not to be.
"I have great news. A child has been born in a stable in Bethlehem who will save all the world."
They were amazed and decided to go and see this 'Saviour' for themselves. With their flocks they arrived at the stable and gazed down in wonderment at the baby Jesus. They then set off to relate this happy event to all in the area.
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy his favour."
The shepherds returned to the hills glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.
That same bright light had been seen by three wise men in the East. They knew a great king had been born.
After travelling to Jerusalem and enquiring from King Herod where this king might be they were instructed by him to "please find him and tell me of his whereabouts."
A star lead them to Bethlehem and to the baby Jesus.
The three wise men entered the stable and worshiped the baby. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Before returning to the East God sent them a message not to see Herod. They therefore returned home by a different route.
This is the story of the Nativity.
Written by Henry Grattan Bellew. Irish Author: Latest book "A Pinch of Saltee", see: