One of my favorite televised shows is the Charlie Brown Christmas Special which deals with the usual idea of decorations, candy and gifts but it goes one step further. It takes the time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas which is Christ's birth.
So like that show, I would like to stop now and tell that story from the gospel according to Luke's account as done through the New International Reader's Version (NIRV). I am also including Nativity scenes that are up in my neighborhood
In those days, Caesar 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.
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.”
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.”
But Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over.
The shepherds returned. They gave glory and praise to God. Everything they had seen and heard was just as they had been told.