may the love of our Lord bless you abundantly
(Luke 1:5-9) "In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named
Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a
descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous
before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and
regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren,
and both were getting on in years. Once when he was serving as priest before
God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom
of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.""
(Luke 1:10-17) "Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the
people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord,
standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was
terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid,
Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a
son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will
rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never
drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy
Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the
spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to
their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready
a people prepared for the Lord."
(Luke 1:18-23) "Zechariah said to the angel, "How will I know that this is so? For I
am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." The angel replied, "I am
Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and
to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words,
which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until
the day these things occur." Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah,
and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. When he did come out, he could not
speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He
kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service
was ended, he went to his home."
(Luke 1:24-25) "After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months
she remained in seclusion. She said, "This is what the Lord has done for me
when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured
among my people."
"In the sixth month the angel
Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee
called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man
whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.
The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her
and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is
with you." But she was much perplexed by his
words and pondered what sort of greeting this
might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be
afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And now, you will conceive in your womb and
bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will
be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will
reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to
her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son
of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son;
and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be
impossible with God. Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be
with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.""
(Luke 1:39-56) "In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town
in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted
Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry,
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why
has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon
as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And
blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken
to her by the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit
rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his
servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty
One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those
who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down
the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry
with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our
ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." And Mary remained with
her about three months and then returned to her home."
(Luke 1:56-80) "Now the time came for
Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard that the
Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and
they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they
came to circumcise the child, and they were
going to name him Zechariah after his father.
But his mother said, "No; he is to be called
John." They said to her, "None of your
relatives has this name." Then they began
motioning to his father to find out what name
he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is
John." And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and
his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their
neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill
country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, "What then will
this child become?" For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. Then his
father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people
and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his
servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered
his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us
that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without
fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will
be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare
his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their
sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our
feet into the way of peace." The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he
was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel."
(Luke 2:1-5) "In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the
world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while
Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered.
Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of
David called Bethlehem, because he was descended
from the house and family of David. He went to be
registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and
who was expecting a child."
(Luke 2:6-7) "While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and
laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."
(Luke 2:8-20) "In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping
watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and
the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel
said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy
for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the
Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in
bands of cloth and 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 heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" When the
angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
"Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the
Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and
Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known
what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at
what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered
them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all
they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."