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Hope, Family, + Horseshoe Turns

Once upon a time, after 400 years of silence from God, after the last prophet Malachi spoke for God to His people, an angel appeared to Mary, a virgin who was supposed to marry Joseph, from the house of David. They lived in Nazareth.

Gabriel the angel said, " Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

Mary was greatly troubled.

He said, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a song, 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."

He further explained that the Holy Spirit would make the impossible happen since she is a virgin. And he told her that her older relative, Elizabeth, has also conceived a son.

He said, "For nothing will be impossible with God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."

An angel also visited her betrothed, Joseph, to confirm the very good news.

Later Mary visited Elizabeth and the baby John inside Elizabeth lept in her womb.

Elizabeth said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

The baby in her womb was John the Baptist.

Mary sang a beautiful song in response.

In the coming months, Caesar Augustus decreed that there should be a census where everyone was registered. Everyone had to go to their hometown.

Mary and Joseph made the journey to Bethlehem.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger. (ANIMAL NOISES)

In the same region, shepherds were watching their flock. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and said, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all 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.

Suddenly, there was 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!"

They went away into heaven, and the shepherds went very quickly to see this thing that had happened.

They found Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus lying in a manger.

They praised God.

After Jesus was born, wise men from the East followed a star to Jerusalem.

They said, " 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. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled and felt threatened. He devised a plan.

They were pointed in the direction of Bethlehem and told to come back and tell Herod more about what they would find.

The wise men visited the baby in Bethlehem where the star came over the place where the child was.

They fell down and worshipped Him.

Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Happy Birthday Jesus!)

They were warned in a dream of not returning to Herod, and went back home.

That baby, Jesus, grew up and so would his relative John the Baptist who would preach repentance to all.

John said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said."

When he saw Jesus coming toward him, John said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

And that is the end of this story, but the beginning of our story. Our story that brings us into the family of Jesus! Merry Christmas!

Listen to the podcast episode here.

Thank you to Hope Newman Kemp and the Rees Family for helping make my Christmas episode extra special!

My poem:

Horseshoe Turns

If I get too close,

Will you push me away?

Burn the heart of my flesh,

With what you have to say?

I’m sure I’ll shatter with the weight,

Maybe it’s safer here in my shell,

Maybe it’s better here in the dark,

What do I really have to tell?

The darkest days, they sing

Something of bringing a brighter dawn,

But often, the many clouds platoon,

The fog returns my heavy yawn,

And ruins the expected palette,

My eyelids droop in exhausted sighs,

You hold them open for me to see,

You wouldn’t want me to miss the surprise!

Maybe it will burn, maybe it will shatter,

Your Word is strong, and mine no matter,

But you won’t push away,

No matter what I say,

You get too close.

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