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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)

TITLE: The Wonder of it All
By William Stevenson


Countdown to Christmas:
The Wonder of it all.

“Gabriel: I want you to go to earth again. This time I want you to visit a virgin in Nazareth and tell her that I have chosen her to bear my son.”

“I am aware of your promises to Israel, your elect, but I don’t understand why this is all necessary.”

“You don’t need to know, my secrets keep the enemy guessing as well. Satan can only act after the events, which give us the upper hand.”

Gabriel winged his way down to earth, to the village of Nazareth, to the home of the young maiden Mary. He thought, “Mary is of the family line of David to whom the Messiah is promised, while King Herod is a political ring in. Good choice God, but this Joseph is only a carpenter. True, he too is of David’s line. I guess God knows what he is doing.”

Arriving in Mary’s presence Gabriel startled her with his greeting. “Hail; you are highly favoured among women.”

Mary showed her fear at this sudden intrusion in her daily affairs and wondered what kind of greeting this was?

“Don’t be afraid Mary; God has chosen you to bring His son into this world, you will become pregnant and the Messiah will be born.”

“How can this be, I have not been with a man?”

“No, No. The Holy Spirit of God will overshadow you and implant His seed in you, that’s why your child will be the son of God. You must have heard that your cousin Elizabeth, who has been barren all her life, is now pregnant and in her sixth month. I must go now."

Excitedly Mary hurried to Joseph’s house. “Joseph: I’ve been visited by an angel and am pregnant.”

“Mary, Mary, don’t be foolish. You can’t be pregnant we have not been together yet.”

“No Joseph this is different. God is giving me this child.”

“Mary, go back home and say nothing to anyone else. I’ll sort the matter out favourably.”

After Mary left, Joseph pondered, “Mary is a good girl, however she became pregnant, she needs me to protect her from scandal. I cannot marry her, so I’ll give her a bill of divorcement privately. Only the Elders will know.”

That night Joseph tossed and turned in his bed, his concern for Mary was great. In a dream an angel visited him, “Joseph; you must not hesitate to take Mary for your wife. The child she has conceived is really from God.”

Joseph woke and realising his dream was from God determined to marry Mary.

He advised her, “Go and visit your cousin Elizabeth. Be out of town for a while.”

On her arrival, Elizabeth said, “It is really a privilege for me to be visited by the mother of the Messiah. I know, because as soon as I heard your voice, my baby jumped for joy in my womb.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth until it was time for John to be born.

Returning to Nazareth Mary heard that the Roman governor had decreed that every resident of Israel must go to the city of their family line to register. Both Mary and Joseph being descendants of David would have to register in Bethlehem when the time came.

As is the way with women Mary’s child grew in her womb and he would be due just about the time they needed to travel and register. Although concerned, they travelled to Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was crowded. The Inns were full and Joseph and Mary were forced to sleep in a cave set aside for the animals. Mary’s baby was born and she wrapped him in loose cloths and laid him in the manger.

“Gabriel, take some angels with you, it’s time to announce the birth of my son.”

Once again Gabriel sped to earth, to Bethlehem. He was not alone this time He spotted some shepherds on the hills near the city and decided to tell them.
Those shepherds were astounded to be visited by angels. Over the last four hundred years no one had heard from heaven, they seemed to be brass. Gabriel told the shepherds the good news and the other angels sang in praise to God. “Glory to God and on earth peace to those who receive His good will.”

The shepherds rushed into the city and found the good news true. They went from house to house telling all who would listen.

744 Words.

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Edmond Ng 11/03/08
A good recount counting down to the birth of Christ.