Episode I: The Child - A New Hope

 Long ago, in a land not so far far away...

It is a period of great oppression. The land of Judea has come under Roman occupation, while the prophets of Israel have been silent for 400 years. During this time, Rome establishes a system of government consisting of Roman overseers and local leaders who exercise their will in the name of Rome.

Meanwhile, Herod is appointed King of Judea and given unlimited autonomy in the area. A tyrant consumed with hatred for the Jewish people, he has risen to become one of the most powerful rulers in the Roman Empire. He seeks to expand his power and influence through building projects and expansion, funded on the taxes of the people.

Crushed under the weight of taxation and oppression, the Jews continue to hold out hope for their long awaited, prophesied Messiah. Herod, hearing whispers of this coming King and fearing a threat to his rule, decrees that every boy under the age of two be killed...

Now, 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 Jospeh 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 a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manager, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were Shepards 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 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 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 heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the Shepards said to one another, "Let us 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 Shepards said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The Shepards returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


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