Luke 1:26–2:20

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabrielh to Nazareth,i a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,j a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,k Mary; you have found favor with God.l 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.m 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.n The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,o 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdomp will never end.”q

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you,r and the power of the Most Highs will overshadow you. So the holy onet to be born will be calledb the Son of God.u 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a childv in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”w

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,x 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.y 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women,z and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lorda should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song

1:46–53pp—1Sa 2:1–10

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lordb

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,c

48 for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.d

From now on all generations will call me blessed,e

49 for the Mighty One has done great thingsf for me—

holy is his name.g

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.h

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;i

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.j

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.k

53 He has filled the hungry with good thingsl

but has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be mercifulm

55 to Abraham and his descendantsn forever,

just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumciseo the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”p

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signsq to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”r 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak,s praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judeat people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.u

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spiritv and prophesied:w

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,x

because he has come to his people and redeemed them.y

69 He has raised up a hornc z of salvation for us

in the house of his servant Davida

70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),b

71 salvation from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us—

72 to show mercy to our ancestorsc

and to remember his holy covenant,d

73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:e

74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,

and to enable us to serve himf without fearg

75 in holiness and righteousnessh before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a propheti of the Most High;j

for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,k

77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation

through the forgiveness of their sins,l

78 because of the tender mercy of our God,

by which the rising sunm will come to us from heaven

79 to shine on those living in darkness

and in the shadow of death,n

to guide our feet into the path of peace.”o

80 And the child grew and became strong in spiritd;p and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustusq issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.r (This was the first census that took place whilea Quirinius was governor of Syria.)s And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehemt the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to himu and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angelv of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.w I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviorx has been born to you; he is the Messiah,y the Lord.z 12 This will be a signa to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peaceb to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.c 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.d 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising Gode for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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