"For unto us a child is born, unto us
a Son is given: and the government
shall be upon His shoulder: and His name
shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace."
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went
out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the
world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first
made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all
went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city
of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David,
which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the
house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary
his espoused wife, being great with child. And so
it was, that, while they were there, the days were
accomplished that she should be delivered. And she
brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him
in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;
because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding
in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and
the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and
they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of
great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto
you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign
unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone
away from them into heaven, the shepherds said
one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass, which
the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came
with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the
babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it,
they made known abroad the saying which was
told them concerning this child.
What Gift Is Worthy of a King?
What gift is worthy of a King
From one as poor as I?
I have no treasures to behold
And none that I can buy.
I cannot be a drummer boy
For I do not have a drum.
What do I have that He'd enjoy
Now that He has come?
Perhaps I'll sing a lullaby
For the baby King
With words so sweet that birds will hush
Their chatter when I sing.
Perhaps I'll rock Him in my arms
If Mary will allow,
That she might rest, perhaps to dream,
That God is with her now.
What gift is worthy of a King
From one as poor as I?
Perhaps a gift from the heart
That money cannot buy.
~ Clay Harrison ~
The Three Little Trees
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees
stood and dreamed of what they wanted to
become when they grew up. The first little
tree looked up at the stars and said: "I want
to hold treasure. I want to be covered with
gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be
the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!"
The second little tree looked out at the small
stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean.
"I want to be traveling mighty waters and
carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest
ship in the world!"
The third little tree looked down into the
valley below where busy men and women worked
in a busy town. "I don't want to leave the
mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall
that when people stop to look at me, they'll
raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.
I will be the tallest tree in the world."
Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone,
and the little trees grew tall. One day three
woodcutters climbed the mountain.
The first woodcutter looked at the first tree
and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is
perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining
axe, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made
into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful
treasure!" The first tree said.
The second woodcutter looked at the second tree
and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect
for me." With a swoop of his shining axe, the
second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty
waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be
a strong ship for mighty kings!"
The third tree felt her heart sink when the last
woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight
and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the
woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of
tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop
of his shining axe, the third tree fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought
her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter
fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals.
The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold,
nor with treasure. She was coated with saw dust
and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.
The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her
to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made
that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered
and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too
small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a
river; instead she was taken to a little lake.
The third tree was confused when the woodcutter
cut her into strong beams and left her in a
lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree
wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the
mountain top and point to God..."
Many many days and night passed. The three trees
nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden
starlight poured over the first tree as a young
woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox.
"I wish I could make a cradle for him" her husband
whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled
as the starlight shone on the smooth and the
sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful" she said.
And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the
greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a tired traveler and his friends
crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler
fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out
into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing
storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew
she did not have the strength to carry so many
passengers safely through with the wind and the rain.
The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out
his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as
quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree
knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when
her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile.
She flinched as she was carried through an angry
jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a
man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.
But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the
earth tremble with joy beneath her, the third tree
knew that God's love had changed everything. It had
made the third tree strong. And every time people
thought of the third tree, they would think of God.
That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.
So the next time you feel down because you didn't get
what you want, just sit tight and be happy because
God is thinking of something better to give you.
~ Author Unknown ~
What does Christmas mean to you? Is Christmas just a
lovely tree with beautiful ornaments? Presents for
family and friends? Santa Claus? Big dinners and parties
to attend? Purchases that will take a year to pay off?
Do you get lost in the rush to send Christmas cards,
buy gifts, and put up Christmas decorations?
Have you ever attended a birthday party where all the
gifts were given to the guests and none to the one whose
birthday was being celebrated? No? Then why celebrate
the birth of our Savior by giving gifts to one another?
Celebrating HIS birthday, and giving HIM what HE asks
will cost you nothing...yet everything. He asks for your
heart and soul; not money or gifts or fancy decorations.
He does not need another tree; the one on which He gave
everything is far more beautiful than the mind of man can
conceive. Because His gift, on that tree, set us all free.
He paid the price for a debt of sin that was not His, in
order to give us a gift of pardon we did not deserve.
Why don't you decide today, to accept His gift? He has
already paid the price for you; all you need do is accept.
Remember: There is NO Christmas without CHRIST.
"Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the
people be assembled: who among them can declare this,
and shew us former things? let them bring forth their
witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them
hear, and say, It is truth. Ye are my witnesses,
saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that
ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am
he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there
be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and
beside me there is no Saviour."
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