Told by Jane Werner
This story can be found in the book
"The Golden Christmas Treasury -
25 Stories, Poems, and Carols".
This is Mary, a girl of Galilee. She lived long years ago, but such a wonderful thing happened to her that we remember and love her still.
One day an angel appeared to Mary. "You are blessed among women," the angel said. "For you shall have a son, whom you shall name Jesus. He shall be called the Son of God, and his kingdom shall never end."
"I am glad to serve the Lord," said Mary. "May it be as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Mary married a good man from Nazareth. His name was Joseph, and he was a carpenter by trade. When Joseph had to go from Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judea, to pay his taxes in his father's town, Mary went with him. It was a long, weary journey for her.
When they reached Bethlehem at last, they found many travelers there before them. The streets were full of cheerful, jostling kinsmen. The inns were crowded to the doors. Though Joseph asked shelter only for his wife, every innkeeper turned them away.
At last one innkeeper, seeing Mary's weariness and need, showed them to a stable full of warm, sweet hay.
There Mary brought forth her son. And she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger, since there was no room for them in the inn.
There were in that same country shepherds in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them in shining glory, and they were all afraid.
But the angel said to them: "There is nothing to fear. I come to bring you news of a great joy that shall come to all people. For a child is born this day in Bethlehem -- a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
Suddenly, the sky was full of angels, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace, good will toward men." When the angels disappeared into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that the Lord has made known to us."
They hurried to the stable and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. The shepherds knelt to honor the baby. Then they went back into town, singing praises to God for all they had seen and heard.
That night a star appeared in the East.
Three wise men followed the star until it stopped over the place where Jesus lay. They entered the stable and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and bowed down and worshipped him. They opened their treasures and laid before him gifts: gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
The child grew up to be strong in spirit and full of wisdom. And Mary knew the grace of God was upon him.
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