Away in a manger – the Christmas story told in a new way
The Christmas story, adapted from Alida van Deventer’s book He Came From the Father. THERE was a young girl called Mary. She was only a teenager, but she had promised to marry Joseph, the husband her parents had chosen for her.
One day God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary. She was very surprised to see him.
He told her she was going to have a baby and she was to call him Jesus. Gabriel said Jesus would be the son of God.
Mary said: “How is this possible?” But Gabriel said nothing was impossible with God.
Joseph was also surprised at the message the angel had brought to Mary, and wondered if he should marry her. But an angel came to him in a dream and said he should still marry Mary.
At that time the Romans decided to count everyone in their empire, and everyone had to go to their home town to have their names written down. So Mary and Joseph went off to Bethlehem, where Joseph came from, and while they were there, Mary’s baby was born.
They had hoped to stay in an inn, but it was full, so the baby was born in a stable, and put in a manger filled with straw to rest.
About that time shepherds in the fields nearby were amazed when an angel appeared to them in a bright light. He told them not to be afraid, for he had good news.
“Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born. You will find him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The excited shepherds went to Bethlehem to find the baby.
Some time later wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, which was not far from Bethlehem, asking about the baby who had been born to be king of the Jews.
“We saw his star in the East and have come to worship him.”
Herod, who was king of the Jews at the time, was upset at this news. He asked the wise men to find the baby and tell him where Jesus was, so that he could worship him too.
But he was lying – Herod wanted to kill the baby, because he didn’t want a rival.
Of course what Herod didn’t understand was that Jesus would never be that kind of king.
The wise men went on to Bethlehem and found the family. They gave Jesus gifts – gold, incense and myrrh. Then God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they went home a different way.
Jesus grew up working with Joseph, who was a carpenter. Later he went on to preach the Gospel, teaching us to turn the other cheek, to do to others as we’d like them to do to us, and to love God.