Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Eve. As I am a church choir member, I'll be going out and sing Christmas carols tonight in our town. The YouTube below is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I sang it as a soloist at the previous Sunday service.

I went to Israel last month. Bethlehem is the place where Jesus was born. It takes about 30 minutes from Jerusalem by car. As it is under Palestinian self-government, some procedures must be taken from Jerusalem to get there. We didn't go there this time but took a photo viewing over Bethlehem.

The church below is Basilica of Annuciation located in the center city of Nazareth. The tall trees are dates(=なつめやし).

This grotto is located lower inside the church, where it is said to be the site of annunciation: Mary received the annunciation by Gabriel.

Here is a story about the birth of Jesus.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:1-20)

Our Lord, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. My life has been completely changed to be blessed since I believed in Him. I've been walking and will be walking with Him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)


May God bless all of you!!
Love from heidi. :-)

Thank you for reading and God bless you!
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