The Christmas Story

A Christmas story can be composed of many elements such as stories of Santa Claus, gifts, Christmas trees, and family gatherings. However, without Jesus, there would be no need for Christmas. The Christmas story, and the true meaning of Christmas, lies within the events that occurred over 2000 years ago with Mary's virgin birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem, along with the visits of the shepherds and the wise men. The birth of Jesus, however, is much more than a Christmas story, it is the beginning of the life of the Savior of the world, and centers around the events leading up to and immediately after Jesus' birth. The beginning of this story does not begin with the conception of Jesus, however, but with Isaiah in writings of the Old Testament. God had promised that a Savior or Messiah would come to earth to deliver people from sin and provide salvation to any that would believe in Him. Take the Christmas Story Quiz to further explore this story.

The true beginning of the Christmas story is found in the book of Isaiah. As a prophet, Isaiah had many visions about the future and events that would come to pass. One of these visions concerned the Savior of the world being born: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7). Isaiah's vision came to pass many years later with Christ being born in a virgin birth, testified to by the Christmas star and the wise men who followed it to the stables.

Mary and Joseph, the earthly parents of Jesus, play a major role in the Christmas story. Before they were married, they were promised to become husband and wife. Mary received a visit from the angel, Gabriel, who told Mary of her pregnancy and how she would bear the son of God. Since Mary was a virgin, Jesus' conception and the virgin birth was a miracle provided by God to allow God's Son to come to earth and become the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. Joseph felt a need to break the engagement after finding out about the pregnancy. However, before that could be done, he was visited in a dream by God. The true mission of Mary's pregnancy was revealed to Joseph, allowing him to understand the power and necessity of taking Mary as his wife and raising Jesus as an earthly son. With the plan in place for the birth of the Son of God, a Christmas story was beginning to take shape. For other interesting Bible resources, check out the Bible Quizzes.

Just before the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had to journey to Bethlehem to register for the census demanded by Caesar Augustus. Joseph had to return to Bethlehem because that was where his ancestry was registered. Upon reaching the town, Mary went into labor. However, because no room was available at the inn, the couple took refuge in the stables, where the virgin birth of Jesus took place. At this moment, a bright star shone for all to see. Many shepherds came to see the child after being told by an angel that Jesus was the Savior, sent by God. The wise men also came to see the child and bring gifts. They had been told by Herod to find the child and tell him so he could also worship the child. After the wise men found Jesus and presented their gifts, God warned them in a dream to return home without telling Herod of the location of the Savior. The wise men did as God instructed and left without allowing Herod to know where Jesus could be found.

Many times, a Christmas story will include many fun and interesting details of the holiday season. This particular one, however, is the greatest and most important story that anyone can ever learn or tell. Long before the birth of the Christ occurred, there were promises made of His coming. As God's vision was being fulfilled, many events took place to show people that Jesus was the true Messiah. God and angels spoke and visited with people to prepare them for the birth of Jesus. This story, which is vital in the life of every Christian, is one that brings hope, promise, and salvation to the world. Therefore, while a Christmas story may be composed of many elements, it is not complete without including and focusing on the Savior being born: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

History of Saint Patrick

The history of Saint Patrick is one that interests and touches the heart. His story originates from centuries past of a man who was both tenderhearted and compassionate. It is a lesson to anyone who desires to become the person obedient and willing to be in God's will. The young man was born somewhere near Wales and is said to be the son of a man named Calpornius. His father was said to have been a very important man in the governmental setting, and was an official as well as a deacon. His mother was from a well-groomed family as well. Saint Patrick was from a Christian home, but never really grasped religion as a child. However, when a teenager, the boy was captured by raiders and thus began a spiritual quest.

Patrick's life is recorded in an autobiographical piece, "Confession". When he turned sixteen years old, captors took the boy to Ireland as a slave where the young man's faith was put to the test. While in captivity, Saint Patrick's personal account notes that this faith was strengthened because of the circumstances encountered. At the age of twenty-two, the young man escaped from Ireland where the captors had left him, then fled to a monastery where the escapee lived for two years, thus adopting the name 'Patrick' permanently. While at the monastery, the autobiography notes that the boy heard a voice in the night urging him to return to Ireland. The obedient Saint Patrick listened and obeyed the voice, returning to Ireland as soon as able, and it was there that the young man began a holy mission winning a first convert to the Christian faith. In that place where he once was held in captivity is where the mission field began for the young man.

Dichu, was the name of the Saint Patrick's first convert. According to the history of Saint Patrick, the now 'Saint,' Dichu gave Patrick a barn. This barn was used to set up a place for a church. It was a place of worship that the now missionary would turn into a place of retreat, a study, and church years later. This became a safe haven for the former Welshman, where many hours were spent and ended up being the place he would draw his last breath. Click this link, for other interesting Bible resources.

The autobiography says that Saint Patrick encouraged many to become nuns and monks. Whether he was considered a monk is still unclear, but it is clear that he would travel about and go on missionary journeys to share Christianity with others. This was this holy man's greatest pleasure - sharing the Good News with those in Ireland, and was known for being a Christian who was not afraid to share what was on his heart. The history of Saint Patrick is one that records active involvement for Christianity being spread throughout Ireland. Many noblemen were converted because of the work he was doing in Ireland. Saint Patrick had built many churches, monasteries, and schools. The story of this man is known throughout Ireland representing the first Christian ever being present in certain parts of Ireland. God truly used this man to impact a society that needed to hear about Himself.

History records the brave teachings and preaching of this man, known for not apologizing or backing down from doing what God had called him to do. Here was a man who had a heart that wanted to share God's love with others. The history of Saint Patrick records personal thoughts about a life living in danger at certain times, probably because of the detest and zero tolerance stance taken on pagan worship, idolatry, or any other vile thing that dishonored God as Lord above all things. The Welshman did not make himself out to be a high and lofty man. What was shared with others did not separate anyone from the other knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that what was shared and preached could land him in prison or bring about death. Yet, this was not of concern in comparison to the desire to honor God and do what He had called him to do.

Reading about and discover the details of this man's interesting and meaningful life is a worthwhile project. If interested in more information on the first missionary to Ireland, look online and find different websites that offer information about his life. Whether it's for leisure or a school project, the history of Saint Patrick will be easy to find if using the Internet to find relevant information. Enjoy the search on this good and godly man and savor the lessons learned from a great man of God.

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