Bible: Lk 1:26-2:52

Birth Announcement of Jesus the Messiah

1:26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, 1  the angel Gabriel 2  was sent by 3  God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 4  1:27 to a virgin engaged 5  to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, 6  and the virgin’s name was Mary. 1:28 The 7  angel 8  came 9  to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, 10  the Lord is with you! 11  1:29 But 12  she was greatly troubled 13  by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. 14  1:30 So 15  the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, 16  Mary, for you have found favor 17  with God! 1:31 Listen: 18  You will become pregnant 19  and give birth to 20  a son, and you will name him 21  Jesus. 22  1:32 He 23  will be great, 24  and will be called the Son of the Most High, 25  and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father 26  David. 1:33 He 27  will reign over the house of Jacob 28  forever, and his kingdom will never end.” 1:34 Mary 29  said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with 30  a man? 1:35 The angel replied, 31 The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow 32  you. Therefore the child 33  to be born 34  will be holy; 35  he will be called the Son of God.

1:36And look, 36  your relative 37  Elizabeth has also become pregnant with 38  a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! 39  1:37 For nothing 40  will be impossible with God.” 1:38 So 41  Mary said, “Yes, 42  I am a servant 43  of the Lord; let this happen to me 44  according to your word.” 45  Then 46  the angel departed from her.

Mary and Elizabeth

1:39 In those days 47  Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, 48  1:40 and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 1:41 When 49  Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped 50  in her 51  womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 52  1:42 She 53  exclaimed with a loud voice, 54 Blessed are you among women, 55  and blessed is the child 56  in your womb! 1:43 And who am I 57  that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? 1:44 For the instant 58  the sound of your greeting reached my ears, 59  the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 60  1:45 And blessed 61  is she who believed that 62  what was spoken to her by 63  the Lord would be fulfilled.” 64 

Mary’s Hymn of Praise

1:46 And Mary 65  said, 66 

“My soul exalts 67  the Lord, 68 

1:47 and my spirit has begun to rejoice 69  in God my Savior,

1:48 because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant. 70 

For 71  from now on 72  all generations will call me blessed, 73 

1:49 because he who is mighty 74  has done great things for me, and holy is his name;

1:50 from 75  generation to generation he is merciful 76  to those who fear 77  him.

1:51 He has demonstrated power 78  with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance 79  of their hearts.

1:52 He has brought down the mighty 80  from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position; 81 

1:53 he has filled the hungry with good things, 82  and has sent the rich away empty. 83 

1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering 84  his mercy, 85 

1:55 as he promised 86  to our ancestors, 87  to Abraham and to his descendants 88  forever.”

1:56 So 89  Mary stayed with Elizabeth 90  about three months 91  and then returned to her home.

The Birth of John

1:57 Now the time came 92  for Elizabeth to have her baby, 93  and she gave birth to a son. 1:58 Her 94  neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown 95  great mercy to her, and they rejoiced 96  with her.

1:59 On 97  the eighth day 98  they came to circumcise the child, and they wanted to name 99  him Zechariah after his father. 1:60 But 100  his mother replied, 101 No! He must be named 102  John.” 103  1:61 They 104  said to her, “But 105  none of your relatives bears this name.” 106  1:62 So 107  they made signs to the baby’s 108  father, 109  inquiring what he wanted to name his son. 110  1:63 He 111  asked for a writing tablet 112  and wrote, 113 His name is John.” And they were all amazed. 114  1:64 Immediately 115  Zechariah’s 116  mouth was opened and his tongue 117  released, 118  and he spoke, blessing God. 1:65 All 119  their neighbors were filled with fear, and throughout the entire hill country of Judea all these things were talked about. 1:66 All 120  who heard these things 121  kept them in their hearts, 122  saying, “What then will this child be?” 123  For the Lord’s hand 124  was indeed with him.

Zechariah’s Praise and Prediction

1:67 Then 125  his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, 126 

1:68Blessed 127  be the Lord God of Israel,

because he has come to help 128  and has redeemed 129  his people.

1:69 For 130  he has raised up 131  a horn of salvation 132  for us in the house of his servant David, 133 

1:70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago, 134 

1:71 that we should be saved 135  from our enemies, 136 

and from the hand of all who hate us.

1:72 He has done this 137  to show mercy 138  to our ancestors, 139 

and to remember his holy covenant 140 

1:73 the oath 141  that he swore to our ancestor 142  Abraham.

This oath grants 143 

1:74 that we, being rescued from the hand of our 144  enemies,

may serve him without fear, 145 

1:75 in holiness and righteousness 146  before him for as long as we live. 147 

1:76 And you, child, 148  will be called the prophet 149  of the Most High. 150 

For you will go before 151  the Lord to prepare his ways, 152 

1:77 to give his people knowledge of salvation 153  through the forgiveness 154  of their sins.

1:78 Because of 155  our God’s tender mercy 156 

the dawn 157  will break 158  upon us from on high

1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 159 

to guide our feet into the way 160  of peace.”

1:80 And the child kept growing 161  and becoming strong 162  in spirit, and he was in the wilderness 163  until the day he was revealed 164  to Israel.

The Census and the Birth of Jesus

2:1 Now 165  in those days a decree 166  went out from Caesar 167  Augustus 168  to register 169  all the empire 170  for taxes. 2:2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor 171  of Syria. 2:3 Everyone 172  went to his own town 173  to be registered. 2:4 So 174  Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth 175  in Galilee to Judea, to the city 176  of David called Bethlehem, 177  because he was of the house 178  and family line 179  of David. 2:5 He went 180  to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, 181  and who was expecting a child. 2:6 While 182  they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 183  2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth 184  and laid him in a manger, 185  because there was no place for them in the inn. 186 

The Shepherds’ Visit

2:8 Now 187  there were shepherds 188  nearby 189  living out in the field, keeping guard 190  over their flock at night. 2:9 An 191  angel of the Lord 192  appeared to 193  them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 194  2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, 195  for I proclaim to you good news 196  that brings great joy to all the people: 2:11 Today 197  your Savior is born in the city 198  of David. 199  He is Christ 200  the Lord. 2:12 This 201  will be a sign 202  for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 203  2:13 Suddenly 204  a vast, heavenly army 205  appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

2:14Glory 206  to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among people 207  with whom he is pleased! 208 

2:15 When 209  the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem 210  and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord 211  has made known to us.” 2:16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. 212  2:17 When 213  they saw him, 214  they related what they had been told 215  about this child, 2:18 and all who heard it were astonished 216  at what the shepherds said. 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. 217  2:20 So 218  the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising 219  God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told. 220 

2:21 At 221  the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel 222  before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple

2:22 Now 223  when the time came for their 224  purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary 225  brought Jesus 226  up to Jerusalem 227  to present him to the Lord 2:23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male 228  will be set apart to the Lord 229 ), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves 230  or two young pigeons. 231 

The Prophecy of Simeon

2:25 Now 232  there was a man in Jerusalem 233  named Simeon who was righteous 234  and devout, looking for the restoration 235  of Israel, and the Holy Spirit 236  was upon him. 2:26 It 237  had been revealed 238  to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die 239  before 240  he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 241  2:27 So 242  Simeon, 243  directed by the Spirit, 244  came into the temple courts, 245  and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, 246  2:28 Simeon 247  took him in his arms and blessed God, saying, 248 

2:29Now, according to your word, 249  Sovereign Lord, 250  permit 251  your servant 252  to depart 253  in peace.

2:30 For my eyes have seen your salvation 254 

2:31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples: 255 

2:32 a light, 256 

for revelation to the Gentiles,

and for glory 257  to your people Israel.”

2:33 So 258  the child’s 259  father 260  and mother were amazed 261  at what was said about him. 2:34 Then 262  Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: 263  This child 264  is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising 265  of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. 266  2:35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts 267  of many hearts will be revealed 268 and a sword 269  will pierce your own soul as well! 270 

The Testimony of Anna

2:36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, 271  having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 2:37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. 272  She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 273  2:38 At that moment, 274  she came up to them 275  and began to give thanks to God and to speak 276  about the child 277  to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. 278 

2:39 So 279  when Joseph and Mary 280  had performed 281  everything according to the law of the Lord, 282  they returned to Galilee, to their own town 283  of Nazareth. 284  2:40 And the child grew and became strong, 285  filled with wisdom, 286  and the favor 287  of God 288  was upon him.

Jesus in the Temple

2:41 Now 289  Jesus 290  parents went to Jerusalem 291  every 292  year for the feast of the Passover. 293  2:42 When 294  he was twelve years old, 295  they went up 296  according to custom. 2:43 But 297  when the feast was over, 298  as they were returning home, 299  the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His 300  parents 301  did not know it, 2:44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers) 302  they went a day’s journey. Then 303  they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 304  2:45 When 305  they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem 306  to look for him. 2:46 After 307  three days 308  they found him in the temple courts, 309  sitting among the teachers, 310  listening to them and asking them questions. 2:47 And all who heard Jesus 311  were astonished 312  at his understanding and his answers. 2:48 When 313  his parents 314  saw him, they were overwhelmed. His 315  mother said to him, “Child, 316  why have you treated 317  us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” 318  2:49 But 319  he replied, 320 Why were you looking for me? 321  Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house? 322  2:50 Yet 323  his parents 324  did not understand 325  the remark 326  he made 327  to them. 2:51 Then 328  he went down with them and came to Nazareth, 329  and was obedient 330  to them. But 331  his mother kept all these things 332  in her heart. 333 

2:52 And Jesus increased 334  in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.

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