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December 22nd, 2009

Birth of Jesus Christ

angels announcing jesus birth

(Angels announcing birth of Jesus Christ to shepherds)

Jesus birth was so eventful and full of divine interventions. God assigned his angels special duties to make easy his sons birth on earth as an ordinary human being. Let us take a close look at all these and have a clear idea on how Jesus Christ was born here to save us from our sins.

How was the birth of Jesus Christ

  • Angel visits MaryAn angel named Gabriel visited a young Jewish woman named Mary. Gabriel informed Mary that she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary became so confused and worried about this sudden news as she was still a virgin, but she had faith in God and said, “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you say.”
  • Angel visits Joseph – Angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in his dream and says “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Joseph was a god-fearing person and decided to play his part in God’s elaborate plan to save mankind.
  • Joseph and Mary goes to Bethlehem – In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with his wife Mary, who was expecting a child soon.
  • Jesus Christ is born – While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in any inns, due to the pouring crowd who came there for the registration. Thus the prophecy ‘A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and  he will be called Immanuel (which means “God is with us”)’ was fulfilled.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them to announce the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ. The glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on
whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them after announcing Jesus birth, the shepherds said to the one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and 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 Jesus, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this  child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2: 1-20)

Soon after the birth of Jesus, wise men, or magi, from eastern countries saw a star in the sky that signaled the birth of a new king. They came to Judea, the region around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king. They followed the star until it was right above the manger where Jesus was born. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, some of the finest things in the ancient world. Frankincense was burned to make a sweet smell, and myrrh was an expensive perfume.

Thus was the birth of Jesus Christ, son of God, who came down to live with us so that we may be exempted from our sins and have our chance to lead a far better sin-free life. He had to sacrifice himself at the Calvery for our sins. Think, are you leading a sin-free life or are you crucifying Jesus again and again with your sins?

December 21st, 2009

Story : The Voice of Christmas

The Voice of Christmas

He had been a long time member of the church but refused to show up for services let alone join. He was an integral part of the Christmas Choir, but would not attend rehearsals.

Still, everyone looked forward to seeing him once a year. So much, in fact, they would hold a seat for him at the candle light service every Christmas Eve. Many of the congregation would arrive early to get a good seat nearby the gentleman.

Was it his personality? No, he really kept to himself rarely sharing a word with anyone.

It was his voice. “Oh Holy Night” was his song.

Throughout his life he often wished for the chance to perform it at a local church. Although the spirit of Christmas had left his heart years ago with the passing of his wife, this one song, those special lyrics, belonged to him.

It was said that it was her favorite song and although poor, the richness of his voice was his gift to her. This church, that night, was always theirs. As the service progressed anticipation would build. Everyone joined in singing “Silent Night,” “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and others.

Then the big moment would arrive.

The choir would stand, the church organ would begin to play.  “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining” was the intro sung by the 12 member choir. Then, as if Heaven had open its doors, the choir softly faded and the man began to sing…
“It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

You could feel the excitement as music began to build to the refrain…

“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!”
By this time there was never a dry eye.

After the service the man would blend into the crowd and exit the rear door. The tradition lived on until a month before Christmas that year. He had joined his love, his reason to sing.

“What will they do?” one of the elders asked. “Who could take his place?”

No one. No one would dare attempt to fill his spot. It would be difficult indeed to come close to that long treasured moment.

“We will do the song in his memory” the choir director declared.  “But who among us will sing his part?”

“God had blessed us with his voice and His earthly choir is not made of only one single voice,” he assured them. “He will bless us again.”

That Christmas Eve, as everyone filled the church, you could hear the choir warming up in the basement.

A small piano began playing followed by, “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining” then silence.

The minister began by welcoming everyone and in particular the visitors, “Family and friends who return home each year.” “In the center of the church you will notice a single seat holding a bouquet of Christmas flowers. It is in memory of a man we called, “The Voice of Christmas.”

The service began building to that very moment they all waited for. Lights dimmed and a young child holding a single candle in his hand walked toward the front.

The organist began the intro and the choir stood to sing, “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining..”

There was a sudden hush and the faint sound of one small voice singing…
“It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

The organ stopped. The choir remained standing as everyone looked to see where the voice was coming from. “Over there! I couldn’t believe it. That beautiful voice was the child. The child holding the candle.” He slowly, nervously turned around toward the crowd and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” and he began to cry. The choir director rushed to his side and assured him everything was fine.

Then the young boy said, “I always sang along but no one could hear me. Some man was always louder than me.”

Laughter filled the church.

The minister declared, “God has indeed answered our prayers. We are blessed once again with “The Voice of Christmas.”

The organist began again as the young boy was lifted up to sing and they all joined in…

“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!”

We are each called to be His Voice not only at Christmas but all year long.

December 19th, 2009

Christmas Cards – Set 03

Third set of Christmas Cards are posted here at TBTG. Have a look at them given just above.

I wish all readers of TBTG a wonderful Christmas, filled with joy and spiritually enjoying our saviors birth. Sending Christmas Cards , the custom is dying now, but it is kept more alive on the Internet by sending E-Cards as Christmas Greetings. So here is a set of 12 Christmas Greeting pics to help you in doing so.

Although there are differences of opinion about how much God directs the events of a person’s life, there is less debate about how much God intervened in the birth of Jesus. People may argue about how much or about how little God was involved in many occurrences in the history of mankind, but most professing Christians agree that God micromanaged the birth of His Son. In The Prophecy Study Bible Tim LaHaye lists 125 prophecies in the Old Testament about the first coming of Christ. God gave details about the coming Messiah. Then He made it happen. As I said earlier, Jesus’ birth was important to the Father.

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