God spoke to Abraham under the stars
and promised that through him
all people would be blessed.
Abraham had a son named Isaac.
From Isaac came Judah.
From the house of Judah came Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
From Obed came Jesse,
of whom the prophet Isaiah wrote,
"The Root of Jesse will spring up,
one who will arise to rule the nations;
the Gentiles will hope in him."
From Jesse came David the King.
David was the father of Solomon.
And from the line of Solomon,
there came a man named Jacob,
who was the father of Joseph,
who took Mary to be his wife.
To them Jesus was born;
the light of the world,
King of Kings,
Lord of Lords,
the Everlasting God,
the promised one of Abraham,
who came to bless and save us all.
...was sent from Heaven. He came to a far corner of the world, to Galilee, to a little town called Nazareth. And there he appeared to a young woman named Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph, who was of the house of David.
The angel said to Mary, "Greetings, most highly favored one! For God is with you!"
But Mary was afraid, and wondered what sort of greeting this might be.
The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for God has found great delight in you. You shall have a child and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. To him will the throne of heaven be given, and he will reign for ever, his kingdom will not end."
"How can this be?" Mary asked. "I am not yet married, and have never been with a man."
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will wrap around you, and so the one born to you will be called the Son of God.
"And that you may know what I am saying is true, behold, your cousin Elizabeth, whom everyone thought too old to have a child, is carrying a child inside her even now.
"For nothing is impossible with God."
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary said, "May it be to me as you have said."
When the angel had left, Mary hurried to her cousin Elizabeth, and found everything to be just as the angel had said.
...to his own city to be counted.
So Joseph went up from Nazareth to Judea, to the town of Bethlehem, the City of David, because he was of the house and family of David. He went with Mary, who was to be his wife, who was carrying a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And while they were there in Bethlehem, the time came for the baby to be born. And so Mary gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
There were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their sheep through the night.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them, and they were all afraid. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid! I bring you good news of great joy, which shall be to all people. For this day, in the city of David, is born to you a savior, it is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign for you - you will find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
Then suddenly, there was with the angel, a great company of angels, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all in whom God's favor rests."
...with God, through him all things were made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.
And the Word became flesh and lived on earth with us.
His name is Jesus.
To all who receive him, who believe in his name, he gives the power to become children of God.