And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
And all went to be taxed, every one to his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David;)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Luke 2:1, 3, 4, 5
Oh Holy Night
O holy night the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our 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 world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees. Oh hear the angel’s voices, oh night divine. Oh night when Christ was born. Oh night divine, oh night, oh night divine.
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Hymn No. 208
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 wond’ring love. O morning stars, together Proclaim the holy birth, And praises sing to God the King, And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently The wondrous gift is giv’n! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of his heav’n. No ear may hear his coming; But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive him, still The dear Christ enters in.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6, 7
Away in a Manager
Hymn No. 206
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head; The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay, The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes; But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes. I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky And stay by my cradle till 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.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Hymn. No. 211
While shepherds watch’d their flocks by night, All seated on the ground, The angel of the Lord came down, And glory shone around. “Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread Had seized their troubled mind; “Glad tidings of great joy I bring To you and all mankind.”
“To you, in David’s town this day, Is born of David’s line The Savior who is Christ the Lord, And this shall be the sign: The heav’nly Babe you there shall find To human view displayed, All meanly wrapped in swathing bands, And in a manger laid.”
Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith Appeared a shining throng Of angels praising God who thus Addressed their joyful song: “All glory be to God on High And on the earth be peace. Goodwill henceforth from heav’n to men Begin and never cease.”
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Hymn No. 209
Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled! Joyful, all ye nations, rise; Join the triumph of the skies; With th’angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem! Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King!
Hail! the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail! the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, Ris’n with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King!
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
…and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:1, 2, 9, 10, 11
We Three Kings of Orient Are
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 night, 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.
Frankincense to offer have I, Incense owns a Deity nigh, Pray’r and praising, all men raising, Worship Him, God most High.
Have you ever wondered why it was that the shepherds were the first to hear of the birth of our Savior? Could it have been because they were caring for and watching over their sheep? How often has the Lord asked us to be as the shepherds and watch over and care for one another?
Wisemen came seeking the Savior. As we go forth in the coming year let us all remember that it is the wise people today that seek him still and strive to keep his commandments.
Hymn No. 204
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! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! 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.