The Gospel of the Holy Twelve
Lection 4 IV
Nativity of Iesus the Christ
1. NOW the birth of Jesu-Maria the Christ was on this wise. It came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all the people of Syria went to be taxed, every one into his own city, and it was midwinter.
2. And Joseph with Mary also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because they were of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, who was great with child.
3. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn child in a Cave, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, which was in the cave; because there was no room for them in the inn. And behold it was filled with many lights, on either side Twelve, bright as the Sun in his glory.
4. And there were in the same cave an ox, and a horse, and an ass, and a sheep, and beneath the manger was a cat with her little ones, and there were doves also, overhead, and each had its mate after its kind, the male with the female.
5. Thus it came to pass that he was born in the midst of the animals which, through the redemption of man from ignorance and selfishness, he came to redeem from their sufferings, by the manifestation or the sons and the daughters of God.
6. And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And when they came, lo, the angel of God came upon them, and the glory of the Highest shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.
7. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour, which is Christ, the Holy One of God. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.
8. 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 toward men of goodwill.
9. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which our God hath made known unto us.
10. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph in the cave, and the Babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen these things, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child.
11. And all they that heard it, wondered at those things told them by the shepherds; but Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.
12. AND when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesu-Maria, as was spoken by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought the child to Jerusalem, to present it unto God (as it is written in the law of Moses, every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord).
13. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed unto him that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of God.
14. And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, he perceived the child as it were a Pillar of light. Then took he him “up in his arms, and blessed God, and said:
15. Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou has prepared before the face of all people; to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel. And his parents marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
16. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel; and for a Sign which shall be spoken against (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
17. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Aser, of a great age, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
18. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto God, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.