The Christmas Story

The famous angel Gabriel, who was seen by Daniel centuries earlier, visits Mary and we have their famous exchange recorded. We explore a little bit about why Jesus had to be born of a virgin and then we cover the rest of the famous story. Gabriel also visits Mary's fiance who is apparently troubled by Mary's sudden and unexplained pregnancy. Later, Mary gives birth to Jesus in a barn and has to lay him in a barnyard feeding trough. Meanwhile, an army of angels manifest themselves to nearby shepherds to announce Jesus' birth and even gives them instructions on how they can find him. The shepherds quickly leave and find Jesus exactly where they were told. Then we explore the appearing of a mysterious star over Bethlehem that led the Magi (aka) "The Wise Men" to Jesus' home. While many of us enjoy seeing three wealthy men bearing gifts before a manger on our Christmas cards, this strange event actually took place much later, possibly as much as 2 years after the manger scene. The coming of the Magi into Israel literally shook up the entire kingdom and even rattled King Herod. We will cover the politics of Israel during the reign of Herod and why this sudden appearance of the Magi was so disturbing to the people. We will also get into the significance of "gold, frankincense and myrrh" because those three forms of gifts tell us a lot about WHO the Magi thought Jesus really was. The Magi probably knew much more than we give them credit. And then for fun, we will also get into the supernatural physics of "the star" that appeared over Bethlehem.

59 Minutes
December 18, 2008

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