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John the Baptist

Christmas starts with Christ 2015 image2Mary left her family and went to visit Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, who were happy to see her and knew Mary had been chosen by God to have his Son. Mary was so happy that she sang a song to God.

Elizabeth was pregnant, as predicted and an angel had told Zechariah their son was to be called John and would prepare people to welcome Jesus.

Back in Nazareth, Joseph got his own visit from an angel: in a dream. “Look, Joseph, this is all a bit difficult for you but I’ll try to explain. Everything’s going to be fine.”

“You what!” exclaimed Joseph, his eyebrows almost touching his hairline.

“Yes, I know. Mary is pregnant but it’s not her fault. God’s chosen her to do something really special: to have his Son. When he’s born, you’ll call him Jesus, which means Saviour, because that’s what he’s going to do – save people.”

When Mary got back, they were married.

The Census

Emperor Augustus decided he wanted a list of everyone in his Roman Empire to make sure they all paid their taxes.

To be counted, everyone had to return to their place of birth. Joseph’s family came from Bethlehem, so that was where Mary and Joseph had to go even though she was pregnant. Fortunately, Joseph had a donkey so, while he walked the 70 miles, Mary rode on the donkey. If that wasn’t bad enough, when they got to Bethlehem, there was nowhere to stay and they ended up sleeping in a stable.

Christmas starts with Christ 2015 image3Among all the animals Jesus was born – God came to the earth in an innocent new born baby. Mary and Joseph knew of God’s miracle, but would other people understand?

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