Given December 13, 2015
God’s plan to save the world involved a young woman named Mary who was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. Over 2000 years ago, God sent his angel Gabriel to Mary with a message. “Mary, God really likes you and wants you help Him with something.” “Soon, you’re going to have a baby and that baby is going to be God’s son. God wants you to name him Jesus.” “He’s going to grow up and save the world.” “God wants you and Joseph to be Jesus’ parents.” Well, this was all pretty strange to Mary and she was afraid but she said, “OK, let it be how God wants it.”
Joseph was worried when he found out Mary was going to have a baby and thought about putting off the wedding. But an angel came to him in a dream and told him what was going on. He said it was all part of God’s plan and they were to name the baby Jesus which means “Saviour”. So when Joseph woke up he continued with the wedding plans.
Mary and Joseph lived in part of the Roman Empire and the Emperor Augustus wanted to get a count of all the people there to make sure they paid their taxes. So he had all the people to go to the town where their families came from and register there. Mary and Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 70 miles, to be counted. Joseph walked and Mary got to ride their donkey because she was pregnant. When they got to Bethlehem, all the hotels were full and they couldn’t find a place to stay. But a nice inn keeper told them they could stay the night in his barn where he kept his animals. It wasn’t the best accommodations but they could be inside and stay warm. And it was a good thing because something that would change the world would happen that night.