3rd Lesson

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Luke 2:1-7 Read by Julian Birchall

St.Luke tells of the birth of Jesus

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

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Poem: The Oxen by Thomas Hardy – Read by Margaret Ireland

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our children used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

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Carol (Choir): Infant Holy Infant Lowly

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Poem: To the baby God by Kathy Galloway – Read by Rachel Forsyth

To the baby God

You are dearer than death
you are gentler than breathing,
in the smallness of being,
in the nearness of you,
in the movement of limbs
in the stillness of sleeping
in the anguish of care
is the wonder of you.

You are precious to me
there is nobody like you,
every day holds delights
as I greet it with you.
What the future will bring
I have no way of telling,
but I trust you to show me
all the wonder of you.

I am filled with such awe
for I know my own weakness,
How can I do what’s best
for the treasure of you?
But you give me your love
without question or doubting
so I know you’ll forgive
that’s the wonder of you.

Go to sleep now my darling,
even you need your resting,
I will care by your side
for the world that you love.
You have given your life,
so frail and so trusting
into my human hands,
that’s the wonder of you.

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