1. Oh, come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant! Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, Born the King of angels; Oh, come, let us adore him; Oh, come, let us adore him; Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ, the Lord.
ISAIAH PROPHECIES OF CHRIST'S BIRTH (Isaiah 9:6; 7:14)
The great prophet Isaiah wrote of the Christ child hundreds of years before His birth, and foretold some of the names by which Christ would be known:
ISAIAH 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son given: and the government shall be upon
his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty
God the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Carlo Maratta, detail from Holy Night
1. O come, O come Emmanuel! And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.
JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM (Luke 2:1, 3-5)
LUKE 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
1. O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by; Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light. The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight.
THE SAVIOR'S BIRTH IN A MANGER (Luke 2:6-7)
LUKE 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Carl Heinrich Bloch, The Birth of Christ
1. Away in a manger, no crib for his bed, The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head; The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay, The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
2. The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes; But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes. I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
3. Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay; Close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
SHEPHERDS IN THE FIELDS
LUKE 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Carl Heinrich Bloch, Shepherds Abiding in the Fields
1. Far, far away on Judea's plains, Shepherds of old heard the joyous strains: Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in highest; Peace on earth, goodwill to men; Peace on earth, goodwill to men!
SHEPHERDS VISIT THE BABY JESUS
(Luke 2:15-17, 20)
LUKE 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Gerard van Honthorst, Adoration of the Shepherds
1. The first Noel the angel did say Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay, In fields where they lay keeping their sheep On a cold winter's night that was so deep. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel! Born is the King of Israel!
2. They looked up and saw a star Shining in the East beyond them far, And to the earth it gave great light, And so it continued both day and night. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel! Born is the King of Israel!
THE WISE MEN (Matthew 2:1-12)
MATTHEW 2:1 NOW when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Bartolomé Murillo, Adoration of the Magi
1. We three kings of Orient are; Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star.
Chorus: O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light.
At this sacred season, we reaffirm the reality of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We testify that He was the only perfect man ever to walk the earth. He "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38) and beckons to all, "Come, follow me" (Luke 18:22).
It is His holy influence that stirs mankind to acts of mercy and kindness. He who has "borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4) inspires each of us to reach out with love to the poor, the lonely, and the downtrodden.
May Christmastime remind us that the Prince of Peace, who stilled the tempest on the Sea of Galilee, has the power to calm the storms in our personal lives. May His peace fill our hearts and homes throughout the coming year as we strive to walk in His ways.
(“First Presidency Christmas Message,” Church News, Dec 6, 2003).
Heinrich Hofmann, detail from Christ & the Rich Young Ruler
1.Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin, mother and Child. Holy Infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace; Sleep in heavenly peace.
2. Silent night! Holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!
3. Silent night! Holy night! Son of God, love's pure light Radiant beams from thy holy face, With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth; Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.