that time Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole
world to be taken. This census -- the first -- took place while Quirinius
was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered.
So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and traveled
up to Judea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of
David's House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary,
his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came
for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a Son, her first-born.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because
there was no room for them at the inn.
"In the countryside
close by, there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it
in turns to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the
Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them.
They were terrified, but the angel said,
not be afraid. Listen! I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be
shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Savior
has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign
for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying
in a manger.'
with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising
God and singing:
to God in the highest heaven,
and peace to all who enjoy his favor.
"Now when the
angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
'Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which
the Lord has made known to us.'
"So they hurried
away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.
When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about
him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds
had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered
them in her heart."