It was the time of collecting taxes, as decreed by Caesar Augustus. Bethlehem was full to over-flowing, with people of the line of David coming to pay their taxes. Our inn was very full and we had turned many away. Some people had to camp on the hills outside the town and I felt sorry for them, out in the cold winds.
One evening, a few minuses before my husband and I went to bed, there came an insistent knocking at the inn door. My husband opened it and there were two travellers outside – a man and a woman. “Please, have you a room to spare?" said the man. “We have travelled seventy weary miles from Nazareth, and Mary my wife is exhausted”. “I am sorry" replied my husband, “All our rooms are booked, unless you would like to sleep in the stable. I can get you some soft hay for your wife to lie on’. “Well, a stable will be better than nothing, because we have been turned away from many inns and Mary is about to bear a child," replied the man. I put some hay in the stable and the man-he told me his name was Joseph-tenderly lifted Mary from their donkey and gently laid her in the hay.
I was restless that night, thinking about Mary, so at dawn I went outside and peeped in the stable to see how she was. I shall never forget the sight that greeted my eyes. Mary was sitting on some hay, with a tiny new-born babe in her lap. Shepherds from the hills outside the town were kneeling down in front of the babe as if they were worshipping Him, Mary smiled at them, while she wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes, and she stroked the nervous baby lamb that the shepherds had brought for the baby.
When the shepherds left the stable, they had a wonderful story to tell me. While they were tending their sheep by night they saw a bright light out of the heavens and angels were singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace, good will toward men’. One angel said, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord".
Mystified, I hurried to the inn, and I told my husband what I had heard. He was as pulled as I was, and we went back to the stable to ask Mary about it. She smiled at us sweetly and told as (as a secret) that before she came to Bethlehem; an angel spoke to her and told her she was about to bear a child who was to be the Messiah, and was to be called Jesus.
A day or two later, Joseph found lodgings in a hired house and so they left our inn. I was still very puzzled, how a tiny helpless babe, born of humble parents could be the deliverer of the Jews but I had faith in that sweet, patient woman and her honest, upright husband.
This Story won Rosalind the Junior Prize in our November Competition.
JANUARY COMPETITION RESULT
First, here is the “official" list of answers to our competition on “Parts of the Human Body attributed to God":
Genesis ch. 3, vs. 8, 10 – Voice (also in Ex. 15. 26 and Is. 30. 30, 31)
Exodus ch. 15, vs. 6,12,17 – Hand (Ex. 24. 11; 33. 22, 23; Is. 49. 2, 22; 59. 9
v. 8 – Nostrils
v. 16 – Arm (Is. 30. 30; 59. 16)
v. 26 – Sight (Ex. 33. 12, 13, 16, 17)
ch. 24, v. 10 – Feet
ch. 31, v. 18 – Finger
ch. 33, vs. 11, 20, 23 – Face (Is. 59. 2)
v. 23 – Back (Is. 38. 17)
2. Chron. Ch. 16, v. 9 – Eyes (Is. 49. 5)
Psalms 91, v. 1 – Shadow
Isaiah ch. 30, v. 2 – Mouth (Is. 58. 14)
v. 27 – Lips and Tongue
vs. 28, 33 – Breath
v. 28 – Neck
ch. 49, v. 16 – Palms
ch. 59, v. 1 – Ear
v. 17 – Head
John ch. 1, v. 18 – “No man hat seen God at any time … “
ch. 4, v. 24 – “God is a Spirit . . “
Senior: Rosemary Prouten (14), of Bridestow, Devon.
Junior: Jennifer Howe (10), of Rainham, Essex.
In two articles on the Seniors’ Pages, Mr. Brealey has shown how the Lord knew and used the Scriptures. We want you to search the Gospels and make a list of all the Old Testament characters, and the stories concerning them, to which the Lord Jesus Himself referred, giving the Gospel, chapter and verse in each case, It will help us if you put all the references to one person or one incident together, and arrange your list in some order. Do not include references made by the writers of the Gospels or by other people. Send your answers by April 3rd, to Mr. T. J. Lawson, c/o. 52, St. Leonard’s Road, WINDSOR, Berks.. Give your name, address and age. Prizes will be given, for the best answers from those under and over twelve on that date.
Readers will be interested to learn that a Biography of the late, W. E. Vine is in course of preparation,
Friends who have information of interest are requested to send particulars to Mr. P. O. Ruoff, e/o Messrs, Oliphants, Ltd., 33, Ludgate Hill, E.C.4.
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