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Audio Version read by Kathy Bird
Music and ending comment by Carl Vasta
( To hear the MP3 Version of "The Christmas Story )
use the MP3 player below
( To download the MP3s )
right click on the blue MP3 link or the player
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The new testament begins with two writers: MATTHEW, the tax-collector who was chosen by Jesus to become his apostle and LUKE, who was not one of the twelve apostles but through close association wrote the events related to him by those who were there.
THE BOOK OF LUKE starts with the story of a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem named Zachariah, who is told by the angel Gabriel that his wife Elizabeth, is going to bear a child even though they are both very old. Gabriel tells Zachariah the child's name shall be called John and he shall call many people to return to God and announce the coming of the Messiah! Zachariah finds these things hard to believe and for his disbelief, the angel makes him unable to speak until the baby is born!
The angel Gabriel appears to a young virgin girl named Mary, who lives in
the city of Nazareth and is engaged to a man named Joseph, of the family of David. Gabriel
tells Mary that she will conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus. "He
will be worthy of great honor and will be called, 'Son of God'. The Lord God will make him a king
like his ancestor David was, and he will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever; and his kingdom will never
Mary is troubled and surprised by Gabriel's words and she says to the angel, "How can this be, for I am a virgin and have not slept with any man?" The angel tells her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will put the child in you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God.'
Then Gabriel tells Mary about her relative Elizabeth who is now six months pregnant
even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do."
Mary says to Gabriel, "I am the Lord's servant, may it happen to me as you have said." Mary goes to see Elizabeth and remains with her for about three months, then returns home.
Elizabeth gives birth to a son and when the neighbors and relatives assemble for the circumcision of the child, they intend to name him after his father, Zachariah. Elizabeth says, "No! His name is to be John." They point out to her that none of the relatives have that name, then using signs they ask Zachariah what he wishes the child to be called. On a writing tablet he writes, "His name is to be John." All are astonished and at that moment Zechariah's mouth is opened and he begins to speak in praise of God.
The book of MATTHEW starts with the genealogy from Abraham to King David and through to Joseph, husband of Mary, who is the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ. This is where Matthew joins Luke in telling the story of Jesus birth.
Joseph decides to break the engagement to Mary quietly and not expose her to
public ridicule because she is pregnant. The angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream
and tells him: "Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your
wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. She is to have a
son and you are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins."
All this happened to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah concerning the birth of the Messiah:
"A virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son,
and they shall call him Immanuel"
A name which means "God is with us". Joseph does as the angel of the Lord tells him and accepts Mary as his wife.
Emperor Augustus orders a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire, so everyone has to return to his ancestral home for registration. Joseph, who is a descendant of David, returns to his native city of Bethlehem in Judea to register. Traveling with him is Mary, who is soon to have a child.
The city is crowded with others who have come to register and no rooms are available so they take shelter with the animals.
Mary gives birth to a son and she wraps him in bands of cloth and lays him in a
Angels appear to shepherds tending flocks in the fields near there and say to them: "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.
This very day in David's town your Savior is born--Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." ( A manger is a feeding trough or box to hold hay for horses or cattle to eat )
Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:
"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those
with whom he is pleased"
The shepherds hurry off to Bethlehem and find the baby lying a manger. They tell Mary and Joseph about what the angels told them and all who hear what the shepherds say are amazed.
After the eighth day, the baby is circumcised and given the name Jesus as the angel had told Mary and Joseph. The time came for them to take Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, because every first born is to be dedicated to the Lord according to the law of Moses.
ABOUT THE DATE OF JESUS BIRTH
In the ancient times near the beginning of creation, mankind's calendar was measured by
length of the days and nights, the position of the stars and the cycle of the moon.
The Chaldean and Egyptian astrologers became quite learned on the movement of the astronomical
bodies. The Jewish calendar was measured in terms of harvest times, the ripening of
the fruit on the trees, the rainy winter months and religious festivals.
In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar's calendar made a great advance over contemporary calendars and had 365 and 1/4 days a year. This was to be the start of the Christian Era Calendar, meaning everything that happened before the birth of Christ was noted B.C., and everything that happened after the birth of Christ was noted A.D. (Anno Domini) Latin for "in the year of our Lord".
This Christian Era calendar was introduced to the world in the sixth century or 600 A.D. There was a start error in this calendar and it is now agreed that the beginning of the era should have been fixed at least four years earlier. So instead of Jesus being born at 1 A.D., it is thought he was born in 5 B.C.
Astrologers come from the east to King Herod asking, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We observed his star at it's rising and have come to pay him honor."
"his star" is foretold in the book of
( Numbers: Chapter 24:verse 17 )
King Herod is greatly disturbed along with the rest of Jerusalem and asks the priest and scribes
where the Messiah was to be born?
They reply, "In Bethlehem of Judea, and here is what the prophet Micah has written:
'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the princes of Judah, since from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"
( Micah - Chapter 5:verse 1 )
Herod sends the astrologers to Bethlehem and instructs them to return with information about the child so that he can pay homage to the Messiah too.
The Astrologers find the baby Jesus with Joseph and Mary, and present their precious
gifts. They are warned in a dream not to return to Herod and they return to their country
by another route.
Joseph receives a message from an angel of the Lord in a dream: "Get up and take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise. Herod is searching for the child to destroy him." Joseph takes Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt.
Herod realizes he has been deceived by the astrologers and becomes furious. He orders the killing of all the male babies younger than two years old in Bethlehem and the regions surrounding the city.
Then what was said by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
"A cry was heard at Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation: Rachel bewailing her children; no comfort for her, since they are no more."
( Jeremiah: Chapter 31:verse 15 )
Herod dies and is succeeded by his son, Archelaus, as king of Judea. Joseph is told by an angel of the Lord in a dream to take Mary and the child and return to Israel, fulfilling what was said by the Lord through the prophet Hosea:
"Out of Egypt I have called my son."
( Hosea: Chapter 11:verse 1 )
Joseph hears that Herod's son is now king and he is afraid to go back to Judea, but he is guided by God to settle in the city of Nazareth, in Galilee.
( Found in Matthew: Chapter 2:verses 22-23 )
in Jerusalem at the feast of Passover when he is twelve
years old. On the third day searching, they find him in the temple, sitting
with the teachers, listening and asking questions. All who hear him are amazed at his
understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him they were astonished, and his mother said to him: "Son why have you done this to us? You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow." His parents did not understand when Jesus asks them 'why they did not know that he would be in his Father's house?' Jesus returns with his parents and is obedient to them.
( Found in the Book of Luke: Chapter 2:verse 41 )
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the first quote by Jesus in the New Testament.
I would have you to notice that even though Mary and Joseph did not understand what Jesus had asked them, the scripture says, 'Jesus returned with his parents and was obedient to them.'
As Jesus, the Son Of God, was obedient to his earthly parents, let us strive to be obedient to the commands of our crucified and raised savior Jesus Christ, and wait faithfully until he returns to take us home with him.
Paraphrased Quotes From Jesus
January---------Lazarus And The Rich Man
February-------The Greatest Commandment ("about love")
March-----------The Lost Sheep / The Lost Son
April-------------Meaning Of Easter / 3 Examples From Jesus
May--------------The Worry Of Daily Life
June-------------The Ten Lepers
July--------------The Good Samaritan
August----------How To Give and How To Pray
September-----The Un-believing Towns
October---------Signs Revealing Christ's Return To Earth
November------The Last Supper
December------Why We Should Celebrate Christmas
January--------The Things That Make A Person Unclean
February-------Marriage, Adultery, and Divorce
March-----------Jesus Chooses The Apostles
April-------------The Coming Persecutions For The Believers
May--------------Jesus Feeds 5000 Men ( part 1 )
June-------------Jesus Walks On The Water ( part 2 )
July--------------The Bread Of Life ( part 3 )
August----------The Meaning Of The Cross
September-----Jonah And The Whale
October---------Jesus And The Devil ( Satan )
November------Jesus And The Sabbath ( The Day Of Rest )
December------The Christmas Story ( The Birth Of Jesus )
There are at least 66 books that make up the bible. Sometimes, trying to follow a storyline is difficult because there are books that
are good for support and prayer like Wisdom, Job, Psalms,
and Proverbs. They take you away from the story.
I have put the Storyline of the Bible into 19 easy to read pages that you can print out!
And now you can listen... FREE! to the Storyline read by Kathy Bird. It's streamed mp3 so you can listen to it easily, even if you have dial up. The story includes references so you can find the topics... in just about any version of the Bible.
If you ever wanted to know what the Bible
is all about, here is your chance!
If you don't have a bible, just use Bible Gateway
( IT'S FREE )
Have you ever wondered if there is a God? One who is responsible for the creation of the universe and all living things.
These are some of the stories of easy salvation.
No speaking in tongues, no being baptised with water,
just turn away from your sinful life, and believe that GOD The Father
sent his son JESUS to die on a cross and take all YOUR SINS away.
'For GOD loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.'
This is a beautiful prayer at anytime of the day or for those gathered at your table for a meal.
Lord, I have come to you for protection;
never let me be defeated!
Because you are righteous,
help me and rescue me,
Listen to me and save me!
There will be terrible times in the last days.
People will be lovers ....
"My children, when you come to serve
the Lord, prepare yourself for trials."
( A reading from “The Wisdom Of Sirach” )
A friend was brought here from Canada when she was 5 years old and both her parents became citizens but sixty years later, she has to apply for citizenship because the laws have changed since she was young!
How do I start to have a daily meaningful relationship with God? The first requirement is to believe there is a God !
Check out Carl's Christmas and Inspirational Songs,
Videos, MP3's, and Sheet Music with Midi Files
They're all FREE at