We celebrate Christmas for one, or both, of two reasons.
– We have fallen in love with the annual festivities that have sprung from belief in the character created as an icon for a soft-drink manufacturer’s advertising campaign, loosely based on the legend of Saint Nicolas – who enabled two unmarried sisters to forego the equivalent of the poorhouse by slipping them a gift of gold to them so that, with a dowry, each could marry before their father died.
– We have faith in the birth of Himself, Jesus Saviour Christ, son of God, born to Mary; God Himself, born to live among the ordinary people, to bring faith and redemption to all who praise God in Jesus’ name, as God’s gift to His believers.
Two of his disciples recount the story of His coming: Matthew and Luke. Today and on December 25, let me share their writing with you, from the King James Version (KJV). I’ll not add pictures – may the Word place images into your mind, heart and soul. The first reading is from Matthew :-
Matthew 1 : verses 16 to 25
 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations;
and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations;
and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet, saying,
 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS
Matthew 2 : verses 1 to 11
 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise a men from the east to Jerusalem,
 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.