According to the Holy Bible, it was during the tax census that sent the carpenter Joseph of Nazareth, along with his young pregnant bride Mary, to Bethlehem, the “headquarters” of Joseph‘s ancestor King David, where all David‘s descendants could be formally counted and taxed. There she gave birth to Jesus.

We know that Jesus was born late at night or early in the morning because the night sky was immediately filled with angels proclaiming the double blessed event (Luke 2).  Shepherds were on the hills watching their flocks, which meant that the birth had to be in the spring or summer; sheep were not brought out on cold autumn or winter nights.  So, we know that Jesus was not born on December 25.  We know that December 25 was chosen by the early Christian to compete with a rowdy pagan winter festival held at that time every year.  (Source: Lina Accurso, “Horoscope Guide,” September 2004 Issue)

According to the 1977 book “Astrology’s Pew in Church,” by Don “Moby Dick” Jacobs, Jesus‘s birthday was around March 1, 7 BC.  Although very little is known about his early life, Jesus’s  birth is one of the most-depicted scenes in art.  The following image is my painting of “The Holy Family.”  (Source: Salesian Inspirational Books)

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.”   We might say it this way, “Blessed are those who become empty of themselves, for they shall be spirit-filled.”  The awareness of emptiness is the key to the sublimation of all spiritual-material powers.  When self-grasping and attachment are gone, you have no need to withdraw yourself from such powers or the world.  When you are empty and become nothing, in that instant, you will be everything.  When you give everything away, you will receive everything as your very own.  (Source:  “The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas,” By: Tau Malachi)

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 The Holy Family

Mary held her infant son

And kissed Him, tenderly.

Memories of the angel’s words

Came rushing, vividly!

“Be not afraid,” the angel said.

“Be filled with no dismay.

You are to be the Mother of God!”

She kissed Him softly, yet again,

And brushed His hair in place.

He yawned and then the dearest smile

Appeared upon His face!

Then Joseph took Him in his arms…

God’s little newborn Son.

Jesus slipped into his heart.

A family had begun.

(By: Margaret Petersen)

 

Silent Night

A tiny town with darkened lanes,

A cattle barn with sheaves of grain;

A mother there with gentle face,

Her husband, too, stands in his place.

Some shepherds kneel inside the door

While lambs lie down upon the floor;

A stream of light from overhead

Shines down upon a manger bed,

A newborn Babe with silky hair –

God’s gift to all who seek Him there.

(By: Chris Ahlemann)

 

So Silently

So silently and unobserved

God worked His wondrous plan.

The sleeping world was unaware –

Salvation came to man.

Shepherds heard the glorious news

Told by angels from above.

Christ the Savior had been born

God’s precious gift of love.

(By: Ruth J. Tabberer)