Archive for December, 2011

The Birth of Jesus (a short story)

An Angel Visits Mary

One day about 2,000 years ago an angel named Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman named Mary. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, but she had faith in God and said, “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you say.”

Journey to Bethlehem

Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. But they had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel. It is about 65 miles (105 km) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and the trip probably took them several days.

When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay because the inn was already full. They ended up spending the night in a stable, a place where animals were kept. There was probably fresh hay on the floor that they used for beds.

That night, Jesus was born. There was no crib, so they laid baby Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. The manger probably had fresh hay in it and made a nice bed for the baby.

Shepherds Visit Jesus

Jesus was born in a stable and laid to sleep in a manger. The shepherds came to see firsthand the things the angel had told them.

That night, some shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them and gave them the good news that a Savior, the Messiah, had been born. The angel told the shepherds they could find Jesus lying in a manger. Suddenly a whole group of angels appeared saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem and found Jesus in the manger, just as the angel had told them. After they had seen Jesus, they spread the news, and everyone who heard was in awe.

Wise Men Visit Jesus

Wise men from the East came to worship Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Some time later, wise men, or magi, from eastern countries saw a star in the sky that signaled the birth of a new king. They came to Judea, the region around Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king.

A man named Herod was the king of Judea. He called the wise men to a meeting and told them to find the new king so he could go and worship him, too.

The wise men continued on to Bethlehem and followed the star until it was directly above the house where Jesus was. They found Mary and Jesus in the house and knelt down to worship Him. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, some of the finest things in the ancient world. Frankincense was burned to make a sweet smell, and myrrh was an expensive perfume.

After visiting Jesus, the wise men had a dream that warned them not to go back to King Herod, so they took a different route home.

Journey to Egypt

King Herod lied when he told the wise men he wanted to worship Jesus. He was afraid this new “king” would replace him as king of Judea. He did not understand that Jesus would grow up to be king of God’s spiritual kingdom, not king of Judea.

What Herod really wanted was to find Jesus and kill Him! Herod was furious when he realized the wise men had not come back to tell him where to find Jesus. He sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill all the children under two years old, thinking Jesus would certainly be one of the ones killed.

But God had told Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt. Joseph took Mary and Jesus to live in Egypt where they would be safe from Herod. Joseph, Mary and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod had died, and then they returned to Nazareth.


Was Jesus born on Christmas day? We celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas, but no one really knows what day Jesus was born, or even exactly what year. In 336 A.D., the Western Church, based in Rome, chose December 25 to celebrate as Christmas, meaning “Christ’s Mass.” The Eastern Church chose January 6. The day was named Epiphany, meaning “appearance.” Eventually the period from December 25 to January 6 became known as the Twelve Days of Christmas.

(From http://www.twopaths.com/index.htm)

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The story of saint Lucia


The story of St. Lucia

 The story of Lucia, the symbol of light amid the darkness for Sweden, has many different versions. Although her feast day is celebrated on December 13th in Sweden, she was born far away in southern Italy, in the third century A.D. It is said that she became a Christian after she prayed for her mother to be healed. After she witnessed her mother being healed, she made a vow never to marry  and to give the money that would have been her dowry to the poor.

She refused to marry the man her family had chosen for her. Some say he denounced her for her faith and was responsible for having her put to death. Lucia died a martyr’s death in 303 A.D. and was declared a saint. She is Santa Lucia to the Italians, Santa Lucia to the Swedes, and St. Lucia, or St. Lucy, to all English speakers. How the story of  Lucia came to be such an important part of Swedish culture is somewhat of a mystery. Did the Vikings know of her and brought her legend to the North? Did the monks and priests tell of her martyrdom’s? Of course. Sweden was once a Roman Catholic country and the stories of the saints were often told & retold in the Catholic religion. However, Sweden has been Lutheran for hundreds of years. It is not clear how the saint from Sicily became Sweden’s beacon of light during the darkest period of the year. To this day, December 13TH is one of the high points of the Christmas season and candles are lit all over Sweden to bear light against the darkness, as Lucia did.

Lucia was said to wear a white gown with a red ribbon tied around the waist. On her head she wore a wreath crowned with a ring of lighted candles. She would bring food to people, who were dying of hunger during a famine many years ago. Every year at my church we have a Lucia service. A new girl is chosen every year. On her head is a real crown is actual candles that are lit. It is a beautiful service. I myself am Italian. The church I attend is Swedish. My Uncle(Zio) had told me that in fact the man Lucia was suppose to marry was the one who turned her in. Not only did they burn her body but took her eyes. In Italy all the statues show Lucia holding a plate with two eyes on it. I find it interesting that the Swedish honor her in such a wonderful way. To all St. Lucia was one who beared light against the darkness even though it cost her life. What would we do if faced with the same situation?

From: http://luciar.hubpages.com/hub/Story-of-Saint-Lucia

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Thoughts of today 2011-12-12

Somehow a very calm feeling is spread in me and around me …. like everything is going to be just fine 🙂

Is that Santas present for me this year ??? I hope so 😉 And I also want everyone else to have that feeling so I sended that wish to Santa 🙂

Love Jessica

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