Here's How It Happened.
2/2/2018 11:38:05 AM
It never grows old - this story.

Here’s how it happened.

I also like to call this the Old Familiar Story.  Luke Two.

Though Christmas is several days in the offing, tis wonderful to consider the details of how it occurred so long ago.

I never tire of hearing it …                                                                                                        I never tire of remembering how it happened …                                                                And having been on a hillside just outside little Bethlehem myself, I can picture the topography, imagine the night-sky above the shepherds, and even the rough-hewn manger.

Luke records the happenings:

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.   For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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!   Luke 2.1-14 

This related poem by Christina Rossetti shouts to me

In the bleak mid-winter                                                                              Frosty wind made moan,                                                                             Earth stood hard as iron,                                                                                Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,                                                                    Snow on snow,                                                                                             In the bleak mid-winter                                                                                  Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold him,                                                                  Nor earth sustain;                                                                                       Heaven and earth shall flee away                                                                        When he comes to reign.

In the bleak mid-winter                                                                                     A stable-place sufficed                                                                                   The Lord God Almighty                                                                                   Jesus Christ.

Enough for him whom cherubim                                                                Worship night and day,                                                                                     A breastful of milk                                                                                         And a mangerful of hay

Enough for him whom angels                                                                         Fall down before;                                                                                             The ox and ass and camel                                                                                which adore.

Angels and archangels                                                                                 May have gathered there,                                                                          Cherubim and seraphim                                                                            Thronged the air.

But only his mother                                                                                          in her maiden bliss                                                                             Worshipped the Beloved                                                                                      with a kiss.

What can I give him,                                                                                     Poor as I am?                                                                                            If I were a shepherd                                                                                  I would bring a lamb,

If I were a wise man                                                                                 I would do my part--                                                                                          Yet what I can I give him,                                                                              Give my heart.

The song by Dan Fogelberg:

Grace and Peace to you,