Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Story

When my oldest daughter was 2 1/2 her Sunday school teacher gave her a storybook as a Christmas gift.  That storybook quickly became my favorite Christmas Story.  At one time I  could recite it from memory.   I hope you enjoy it, and have a blessed Christmas.  


Not quite two thousand years ago the emperor decreed
that all the world should be enrolled....

(The world was quite mixed up, you see, and no one seemed to know; 
how many people WERE there?  And what taxes did they owe?)

Throughout the earth the rich, the poor, the young, they very old, 
all traveled to their towns of birth so they could be enrolled.  

And so it was, to Bethlehem a man named Joseph went to list his name 
and see how much he owed the government.

Beside him Mary traveled, too.  Not once did she protest
 how long and hard the trip had been, how much she needed rest. 

In Bethlehem they found the inn and knocked upon the door.
"My rooms are filled!" the owner yelled, "I haven't any more!"
When Joseph told him quietly of gentle Mary's plight:
that she would have a baby soon, perhaps that very night, 
the owner stood in thought and rubbed his bushy bearded jaw.
"I'll let you have the stable, then.  You'll have to sleep on straw."

So Joseph and his wife unpacked and settled down to rest
not caring that they couldn't have the biggest and the best. 
They ate their supper slowly as they watched the sun go down,
and yawned as darkness fell at last upon the little town. 

The night was silent.  Everyone, it seemed, was fast asleep 
except for shepherds in the fields who had to watch their sheep.
They huddled close and whispered low to keep themselves awake. 

Then suddenly their eyes grew wide - their knees began to shake.
For there, above them in the sky, an angel did appear. 
The glory of the Lord shone down, and they were filled with fear.

The angel spoke: "Fear not!  Behold, I bring you news of joy!  
In Bethlehem this very night was born a baby boy 
who is the savior, Christ the Lord; He'll win over death and sin.  
Upon a manger bed He lies, behind a lowly inn."

And suddenly a multitude of angels filled the sky, 
their voices glorifying God and praising Him on high!
And "Peace on earth, good will to men!" resounded through the air - 
it seemed there must have been at least a million angels there!

No longer did the shepherds quake with anxious fear and dread, 
and when the angels disappeared the shepherds quickly said:
"Oh, let us go to Bethlehem and find the manger bed!" 
And off across the fields they ran - to Bethlehem they sped!

The manger wasn't hard to find, and there the shepherds' eyes 
fell on a sight that filled their hearts with wonder and surprise:
For there was Joseph, standing tall and gazing down with care
upon his blessed Mary and the baby lying there. 

"A wondrous Child!" the shepherds cried in voices of delight.
"See there - around him shines a strange and heav'nly light.
How warm and bright it seems against the coldness of this night!
He surely is the one we seek; the angel's words were right!"

To Mary and to Joseph and to everyone they saw 
the shepherds told the story that had filled them with such awe:
"This baby is the Promised Prince, the Mighty Lord, the King.
We know because tonight we heard the holy angels sing.
They told us that this blessed child of low and humble birth 
was truly Christ, the Son of God, The Savior of the earth!"

The news was spread from town to town. 
The whole world must be told
till every person, 
rich or poor
or young or very old, 
has heard about the coming of the Savior of all men, 
whom God has sent to earth because of His great love for them.

Written by Janice Kramer

1 comment:

  1. My children are 48, 46, and 39 years old, and I read this same story to them over and over and over each Christmas for many years. The book is stored somewhere in my attic.
    Thank you for posting and bringing back so many wonderful memories of reading to my children.