I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,
'I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.' " "Selah"
The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.
O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.
You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: "I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people.
I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.
No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries.
My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.
He will call out to me, 'You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.'
I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.
"If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;
but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness-- and I will not lie to David--
that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun;
it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." "Selah"
But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one.
You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
All who pass by have plundered him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with a mantle of shame. "Selah"
How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men!
What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave ? "Selah"
O Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
the taunts with which your enemies have mocked, O LORD, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
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 his 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 room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks 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 of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord" ),
and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,
so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.
And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.
When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.
After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.
Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"50
But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.