24 December 2008

As it had been told to them

by Frank Turk

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
    "You are my Son,today I have begotten you"?Or again,"I will be to him a father,and he shall be to me a son"?
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
    "Let all God's angels worship him."
Of the angels he says,
    "He makes his angels winds,and his ministers a flame of fire."
But of the Son he says,
    "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;therefore God, your God, has anointed youwith the oil of gladness beyond your companions."
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to her. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But Mary was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"

And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. … For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
    "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.

A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when [the child] was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

(they said this because the prophet Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, and he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. And the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his discourse and said,
    I see him, but not now;I behold him, but not near:a star shall come out of Jacob,and a scepter shall rise out of Israel;")
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.



Merry Christmas








20 comments:

Johnny Dialectic said...

Yes, and Merry Christmas to Team Pyro and blessings upon you and your families. Thank you for standing up for the authority of Scripture in times such as these!

donsands said...

Merry Christmas & Feliz Navidad!

Thanks for putting that together.

Daniel said...

Merry Christmas Phil, Frank, and Dan!

Excellent compilation Frank.

John said...

erry Christmas!

Jason said...

Nice,

great compilation. Another example of Gods sovereignty at work.

jeff said...

Thanks Frank,
What a miraculous event! Thanks be to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ!
Merry Christmas to all at TeamPyro and all the bloggers!

candy said...

Merry Christmas to three of my favorite bloggers. Hope you and your families are very blessed, and to all of us with family members who are not saved, may this upcoming year be one in which we share the good news of the salvation of those we love. May we also become strengthened in our desire to evangelize the lost.

Solameanie said...

What better way to reflect than to read it right from Scripture.

A most blessed Christmas to TeamPyro and to all the extended family of commenters!

Joel Griffith
(Sola-not-so-meanie-today)

Stefan said...

The best Gospel harmony I've ever read, bar none. You have a gift, Frank.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


Praise God and Amen!

Merry Christmas to you, Phil, Dan, and all the other readers and commentators, and to all your families, friends, and co-workers (both believing and non-believing), pastors, elders, and deacons. May the Bride of Christ lift up our Lord and Saviour as we celebrate the loving act of His incarnation.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Stefan said...

I wish Blogger had an "auto-versification" feature.

This might look at bit cleaner (and bears repeating anyhow):

Have this mind among yourselves,
     which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God
     a thing to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him
     the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
     every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
     Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Stefan said...

I should say, it's the best Gospel + Pentateuchal + Epistolary harmony I've ever read.

And merry Christmas to your congregants, volunteers, and neighbours, too, for those of you who are pastors.

Pedro Rodriguez said...

Merry Christmas y Feliz Navidad to TeamPyro and you all.

jigawatt said...

I still bet someone starts a ruckus in the comments.

beowulf2k8 said...

Yay, Jesus was born to die for the lottery winners and leave everyone else to burn in hell. Hooray! Well that's what the Calvinists say anyway, but between you and me, Jesus died for everyone and everyone can be saved if they'll obey the gospel, but that's just our little secret, so don't tell the Calvinists unless you're looking to get burned at the stake.

Randy Talley said...

Plagiarist! LOL

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

A very blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Wayne Dawg said...

Merry Christmas guys!!

Frank Turk said...

Beowulf:

Merry Christmas, Troll.

Susan said...

Wow, great job, Frank, for "almost" seamlessly piecing the Christmas story together. I put "almost" in quotes because I was panning over the text...yup...yup...yup...HUH? Balaam??

But then I read what Balaam said...okay...yup...yup....

Merry Christmas, everyone! :)

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

(Sorry, I messed up earlier. Here's my post again.)

Just read this from beginning to end (yesterday my mind was really scattered and lacked concentration). Wonderful "editing", so to speak, Frank, of God's powerful and eternal Word. Nobody can tell a story like God, especially if it is about his own Son. And to read Dan's post today together with this post keeps one in awe of the Lord's eternal presence.

"'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'" (Revelation 1:8).

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20)