ADVENT CHALLENGE IN THE YEAR OF THE WORD OF GOD; Day Two
5th December 2019
1 Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole inhabited world.
2 This census -- the first -- took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria,
3 and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David's town called Bethlehem, since he was of David's House and line,
5 in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
7 and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space.
8 In the countryside close by there were shepherds out in the fields keeping guard over their sheep during the watches of the night.
9 An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified,
10 but the angel said, 'Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people.
11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.'
13 And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words:
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favours.
15 Now it happened that when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us.'
16 So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.
17 When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him,
18 and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them.
19 As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.
21 When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
22 And when the day came for them to be purified in keeping with the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord-
23 observing what is written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord-
24 and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is prescribed in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
25 Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested on him.
26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord.
27 Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required,
28 he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
29 Now, Master, you are letting your servant go in peace as you promised;
30 for my eyes have seen the salvation
31 which you have made ready in the sight of the nations;
32 a light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel.
33 As the child's father and mother were wondering at the things that were being said about him,
34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed-
35 and a sword will pierce your soul too -- so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.'
36 There was a prophetess, too, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years
37 before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer.
38 She came up just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
39 When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
40 And as the child grew to maturity, he was filled with wisdom; and God's favour was with him.
41 Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
42 When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual.
43 When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it.
44 They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day's journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances.
45 When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
46 It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions;
47 and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies.
48 They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, 'My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.'
49 He replied, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?'
50 But they did not understand what he meant.
51 He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people.