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Good tidings of great joy!
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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 first born, a son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by 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, “Fear not. I bring you good tidings that will cause great joy for all people. Today, in the city of David, a Savior has been born unto you. He is the Messiah, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You will find a Baby wrapped in clothes 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, and on Earth peace and good will toward all on whom His favor rests.”

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

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in a manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word that had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds had said.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

–The Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter Two

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Sentry-Enterprise staff.

The Miracle of the First Christmas will be celebrated at Wednesday night services in many churches throughout our area, and they all invite you to join them in worship.