Please scroll down to the “Welcome” tab and click on the play button to begin the audio track. Set your volume at a comfortable level. As you arrive at each scene, select the corresponding tab to reveal the audio track and text for that scene. We hope you enjoy your time on the “Journey To Christmas” seeing the story come to life and hearing the word of God as we welcome the birth of Christ incarnate… Emmanuel.
Please click on the play icon to listen.
Welcome. We are so glad you are here with us! We believe that the miracle of Christ’s birth is one of the most important stories we share of our history. The birth of Jesus was the moment when God came to be with humanity in the flesh; It was the moment He became Emanuel, God with us.
As you drive through the Journey to Christmas, It is our hope that you would attune to the heartbeat of the true Christmas Spirit, and the rich presence of Emanuel, God with us.
Scene 1: Jesus' Birth Foretold
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because He will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” which means “God with us”.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife but he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son… and gave him the name, Jesus.
Scene 2: Mary Visits Elizabeth
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promise to her!”
And Mary said “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him. From generation to generation, He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud of their innermost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Scene 3: The Nativity
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria and everyone went to their own town to register.
So, Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.
Scene 4: Shepherds Keep Watch
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger.“
Scene 5: The Heavenly Host Proclaims
Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying: “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”
When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”
Scene 6: The Magi Abide
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw the star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born.
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel ’
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen already went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they arrived, they were overjoyed, and saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they presented him with gifts of treasures they had brought: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
On behalf of all us who come together in worship at Monte Vista Chapel, thank you for joining us on the Journey to Christmas!
You are invited to celebrate and worship here at MonteVista Chapel on Christmas morning at 10 AM. We are looking forward to remembering and celebrating the gift of Christ together with you!
Please take a moment to visit mvcturlock.com where you can learn more about us at Monte Vista Chapel. There you’ll find access to our digital services including our Christmas Eve Communion service for you to welcome the spirit of Emmanuel in the comfort of your own family traditions at home!
May the God of Hope bless you draw you near this Christmas season.
Christmas Eve Communion
Welcome the Birth of Christ on Christmas Eve with Communion as a family. This Christmas, every home can become a sanctuary when we are enfolded by the rich presence of Emmanuel, God With Us!