This is undoubtedly The Christmas story, explaining how it all began when Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable. The Three Wise Men, the shepherds, and King Herod all put in appearances. It’s read by the late great John Le Mesurier (and introduced by Natasha of course). Our thanks to Onceuponaworld.net for letting us use this audio. You can buy a complete set of audio bible stories from them. For the original Bible story, see St. Luke.
Proofread by Claire Deakin.
The First Christmas
Mary was sitting in the sun outside her house. It was a normal day; a bit of cooking, a bit of helping around the house. She was having a few minutes rest, when suddenly an angel appeared. “Are you Mary?”, he asked. “Yes, who are you?”, the startled girl replied. “I’m an angel from God, and I have a surprise for you. You’re going to have a baby.” Mary raised her hand to her mouth, “It would be a surprise, I’m not even married.”
The angel knew that Mary was going to marry Joseph. He explained the details. “Your child will be the son of God. He will be loved throughout the world for thousands of years.” Mary thought she was dreaming. “It is hard to understand,” she said hesitantly, “what shall I call the baby?” “His name is Jesus,” the angel answered. “Now I must fly.” – And he was gone.
Mary sat for a very long time without saying anything. She thought about all the angel had said, and she prayed a nice thank you to God. “Jesus,” she thought. “That’s a nice name.”
Mary married Joseph, and they both left for Bethlehem, where they were going to live.
They had to travel a long way, so Mary rode on a donkey while Joseph walked beside her.
They arrived in the town at nightfall, and Joseph asked if there was somewhere to stay because his wife was going to have a baby. Someone said, “Try the inn, they rent out rooms.”
They walked down the quiet streets. Joseph was worried about his wife, Mary, who was feeling more and more tired.
“Here we are,” said Joseph. He told Mary to wait outside while he went in to arrange things.
A few minutes later, a miserable Joseph came out, “There’s no room at the inn.”
The couple sadly left the inn, and found a stable to sleep in.
During the night Mary had her baby, and said to Joseph, “He shall be named Jesus,” Joseph nodded. “Lovely,” he said.
Not so far away, there were some shepherds looking after their sheep. The angel suddenly appeared, and the shepherds looked surprised. The angel said, “Don’t worry. I’ve come to tell you some happy news. The son of God has been born in Bethlehem tonight, go and see him.”
To the amazement of the shepherds, the sky was filled with angels singing. “Glory to God, and peace to all men.”
“Come on lads,” said one of the shepherds, “Let’s go and have a look.”
They found Mary, Joseph and little Jesus just as the angel had said, and while the sheep and cows looked on, the men all prayed to God. The baby lay asleep in a manger, with lots of warm cloths to cover him.
In those days there was a king called Herod. He got to hear of Jesus and was worried about it. “King of the Jews, eh?” (For that is what Jesus was called) “I’ll give him ‘King of the Jews.” Not if I’ve got anything to do with it.”
He heard that three wise men were going to visit Jesus. They had seen a very bright star in the night sky, and were going to follow it. They knew that it was shining right over the manger.
“Go and find where he is,” Herod said to the wise men. “I want to worship him.” As the three men left, Herod chuckled to himself. “Worship him!” he laughed, ‘Get rid of him, more like. King of the Jews indeed. I’m King of the Jews.”
He looked out of the window and shouted to the three wise men. “Hurry back, I can’t wait to worship Jesus.”
What a nasty man!
The three wise men travelled at night, following the bright star. Finally they arrived, and gave the baby Jesus lots of presents. They gave gold, frankincense and myrrh – to make him smell nice.
The men worshipped Jesus, and thanked God for sending him to the world.
They were just going to go back home when God said, “Don’t tell Herod where Jesus is. He wants to hurt him, not worship him.”
“Right,” said the three wise men. “We’ll go back a different way.”
They did, and so Herod never found out where Jesus was.