---- — The following is the Nativity story from the Gospel of St. Luke. It is the true meaning of Christmas:
In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be counted in a census. This was the first census and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver the child. She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among people.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known what they had been told about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
May the blessings of Christmas be with you the whole year through.