Christmas (Christ’s Birthday) is celebrated at this time of year. This story of how Jesus was born to a virgin (mo gsar) named Mariam is told in the Gospel of Luke. Never before had a girl, without experience of union with a man (skyes-pa dang ‘dus ma myong), given birth to a child. For this reason Dr Luke, a physician, had made detailed enquiry of events from the beginning in order to be certain of the facts.


It was about 2015 to 2020 years ago, and Mariam was probably a teen-age girl. She lived in  the West Asian country of Israel. Although her family was poor, its lineage (rgyud-pa) went back to David, who had been king of the Jews a thousand years beforehand. She was promised in marriage to a man called Joseph whose lineage also went back to the kings of David’s dynasty.

Until wedding rituals were finished, she was being kept at home.

It was during that time that a messenger-angel, called Gabriel, came from God and said to her, Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:26-28


མི༷ར་ཡམ་ཞེས་ཟེར་བའི་གཞོན་ནུ་མའི་སར་མངགས། མི༷ར་ཡམ་ནི་རྒྱལ་པོ་དཱ༷་བིད་ཀྱི་རྒྱུད་པ་ཡོ༷་སེབ་ཀྱི་བཟའ་ཟླར་འགྱུར་བ་ཐག་གཅོད་བྱས་པ་རེད།

ནང་ལ་ཕེབས་སྐབས་གེ༷བ་རི་ཨེལ་གྱིས་ཁོ་མོར་“ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཐོབ་པ་ཁྱོད་ལ་བདེ་བ་དང་ལྡན་པར་གྱུར་ཅིག གཙོ་བོ་ཁྱོད་དང་མཉམ་དུ་བཞུགས་”ཞེས་གསུངས།

His words made Mariam very frightened. She wondered what was the meaning of this greeting. The angel spoke again, Don’t fear, Mariam; God is pleased with you. You’ll have a son whom you are to call Jesus. He’ll be great and be given the name The Son of the Most High God. He will be king in the line of King David over Israel, and his kingdom will last for ever.’


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:30-33

དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་ཕོ་ཉས་ཁོ་མོར་“མི༷ར་ཡམ། མ་འཇིགས་ཤིག དཀོན་མཆོག་ནས་ཁྱོད་ལ་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཐོབ།

ལྟོས་ཤིག ཁྱོད་མངལ་དང་ལྡན་པར་འགྱུར་ཏེ་སྲས་ཤིག་སྐྱེས་ནས་ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ཁོང་གི་མཚན་ལ་ཡེ༷་ཤུ་ཞེས་ཐོགས་ཤིག

ཁོང་སྐྱེས་བུ་ཆེན་པོར་འགྱུར་ལ་བླ་ན་མེད་པའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་སྲས་ཞེས་ཀྱང་གསོལ་བར་འགྱུར། གཙོ་བོ་དཀོན་མཆོག་གིས་ཁོང་ལ་རང་གི་མེས་པོ་དཱ༷་བིད་གྱི་བཞུགས་ཁྲི་གནང་ཞིང༌།

ཁོང་གིས་ཡ༷་ཀོབ་ཀྱི་རྒྱུད་པར་དུས་རྒྱུན་དུ་དབང་སྒྱུར་ལ། ཁོང་གི་རྒྱལ་སྲིད་ནི་མཐའ་མེད་པའོ་”ཞེས་གསུངས།


But Mariam did not understand, because her marriage to Joseph was not yet completed. She said, ‘How can that be? I am a virgin.’


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:34



And Gabriel explained, The Holy Spirit will fall upon you, and the power of the Most High God will spread over you; therefore the child to be born to you will be called the holy Son of God … For nothing will be impossible with God.


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:35

ཕོ་ཉས་“དམ་པའི་ཐུགས་ཉིད་ཁྱོད་ལ་འབབ་ཅིང་བླ་ན་མེད་པའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་ནུས་མཐུ་ཁྱོད་ལ་ཁྱབ་པར་འགྱུར། དེའི་ཕྱིར་ཕྲུ་གུ་དམ་པ་དེ་ལ་དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་སྲས་ཞེས་གསོལ།

ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:37

གང་ཡིན་ཟེར་ན། དཀོན་མཆོག་གིས་མཛད་མི་སྲིད་པ་གང་ཡང་མེད་དོ་”ཞེས་གསུངས།


And Mariam believed, and said, I am the Lord’s maidservant (gyok-mo). So, let it happen to me as you say.’


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:38



Then the angel left, and Mariam’s heart was filled with wonder and joy. What to say? She was just a village girl; what a privilege that God was giving her!

And she sang; she knew that she was blessed because God’s plan to bless the world given to Abraham, the forefather of the Israelite nation, was about to be fulfilled through her. And she foresaw that future generations would call her blessed as the mother of the Messiah Christ Jesus.


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:46-50

ཡང་མི༷ར་ཡམ་གྱིས་ ང་ཡི་སེམས་ནས་གཙོ་བོར་བསྟོད༎


ཁོང་གིས་དམའ་བའི་གཡོག་མོར་གཟིགས༎ ད་ནས་མི་རབས་ཀུན་གྱིས་ནི༎ ང་ལ་བདེ་ལེགས་བརྗོད་པར་འགྱུར༎

དབང་ཀུན་ལྡན་པས་ང་ལ་ནི༎ ངོ་མཚར་ལས་རྣམས་མཛད་པ་དང༌༎ ཁོང་གི་མཚན་ནི་དམ་པ་ཡིན༎

ཁོང་ལ་གུས་པའི་མི་རབས་ཀུན༎ ཁོང་གི་ཐུགས་རྗེས་ཁྱབ་པར་འགྱུར༎


ལེའུ་དང་པོ། 1:54-55

ཁོང་གིས་མེས་པོར་གསུངས་པ་ལྟར༎ གཡོག་པོ་ཡི༷་སི་ར་ཨེལ་ལ༎ ཁོང་གིས་རོགས་པ་གནང་བར་མཛད༎ ཨ༷བ་ར་ཧམ་དང་དེའི་རྒྱུད་པ༎ དགོངས་ནས་ནམ་ཡང་ཐུགས་རྗེས་གཟིགས༎ ཞེས་གསུངས་སོ།


Her song is still sung by churches all around the world, especially at Christmas time.


Mariam believed that what God told her would happen; and, as a result, she was mightily blessed. Her life was changed. And, likewise, the lives of all who honour her holy son Jesus, trusting in his mercy, will be blessed.



We tell the story of a God fearer who was led to meet Jesus by one of his disciples. ‘God-fearer’ was the title given by Jews to those who had belief in the One True God. In the Hebrew shastra we read that God made the universe (Genesis Chapter 1). He is the Self-existent Rarest and Best One (rang-grub dkon-mchok). He is the One who described Himself as I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:14). And the shastra describes how he was the Creator; that is, all things in the universe have their cause (rgyu) in Him. (See footnote)


Dr Luke tells the story of this very important minister to the Candace (Queen Mother), ruler of her country in Africa. It is found in Acts Ch.8 vv.26-40, which is posted separately. I have given him the name Nyugram because in Luke’s account in Greek he is called eunuchos; and a eunuch he may have been; or else Eunuch was the title of his ministerial post.

Nyugram had been worshipping in the Temple in Jerusalem, and was now setting off on his long journey home in his bullock-drawn official ‘car’. He had reached the dry steppe country near Gaza, and was reading the shastra. And then Philip, a disciple of Jesus, approached and spoke to him.

“Do you understand what you are reading?”

Verse 30

ཕི་ལིབ་དེའི་རྩར་བརྒྱུགས་ཤིང༌། གཉེར་དཔོན་དེས་ལུང་སྟོན་པ་ཡེ་ཤ་ཡཱ་ཡི་མདོ་ཀློག་གི་ཡོད་པ་ཐོས་ནས་ཁོང་ལ་ “ཁྱེད་ཀྱིས་ཀློག་པ་དེའི་དོན་རྟོགས་སམ་” ཞེས་དྲིས།

Nyugram replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”


Verse 31

གཉེར་དཔོན་གྱིས་ “སུ་ཞིག་གིས་ང་ལ་གསལ་བཤད་མ་བྱས་ན་ངས་ཇི་ལྟར་ཤེས་” ཅེས་སྨྲས་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཕི་ལིབ་ལ་ཤིང་རྟའི་ནང་མཉམ་དུ་སྡོད་པར་གདན་དྲངས།

And Philip was invited to explain the sutra to him.

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. 

In his humiliation justice was denied him.  

Who can describe his generation?                   

For his life is taken away from the earth.” (Isaiah 53:7,8)


Verses 32,33









And Nyugram asked, “About whom does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”


Verse 34

གཉེར་དཔོན་གྱིས་ཕི་ལིབ་ལ་ “ལུང་བསྟན་དེ་ནི་ལུང་སྟོན་པས་ཁོ་རང་ངམ་ཡང་ན་མི་གཞན་སུ་ཡི་སྐོར་གསུངས་པ་དེ་ང་ལ་གསུངས་དང་” ཞེས་སྨྲས་པ་ན།

Then Philip explained how the sutra was a prophecy of how Jesus himself would take the blame for our sin, because, while he was being humiliated and dying, it was our punishment that he carried. He himself left behind no family, yet it was so, that we might have future unfading life.

At that moment they came to one of the very few streams in those parts. And Nyugram exclaims, “Ah! see, some water! What is there to stop me being baptized?”

Verse 36

ཁོ་ཚོ་ལམ་ལ་འགྲོ་དུས་ཆུ་ཡོད་སར་སླེབས་པས་གཉེར་དཔོན་གྱིས་ “ལྟོས་དང༌། འདིར་ཆུ་འདུག ངས་ཁྲུས་གསོལ་ལེན་ན་ཅི་མ་རུང་” ཞེས་བཤད་ནས།*

So Philip baptized him.

He came up dripping, but with joy in his heart as he travelled on.


footnote –


དཀོན་མཆོག་ནི་ཡབ་དཀོན་མཆོག་དང༌། སྲས་དཀོན་མཆོག དམ་པའི་ཐུགས་ཉིད་དཀོན་མཆོག་བཅས་ཡིན་ལ། ངེད་རྣམས་ཀྱི་གཙོ་བོ་ཡེ་ཤུ་མཱ་ཤི་ཀའི་ཡབ་ཡིན། ཁོང་ནི་གཙོ་བོ་དཀོན་མཆོག་གམ། ཡ་ཝེ་དཀོན་མཆོག དབང་ཀུན་དང་ལྡན་པའི་དཀོན་མཆོག བླ་ན་མེད་པའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ཀྱང་ཟེར། དཀོན་མཆོག་ནི་ཀུན་མཁྱེན་ཡིན་ཞིང༌། ཁོང་མ་གནས་པའི་ས་ཆ་གཅིག་ཀྱང་མེད། དཀོན་མཆོག་གིས་འཇིག་རྟེན་ཁམས་དང་དེར་ཡོད་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་བཀོད་པ་གནང་ཞིང༌། སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་ལ་སྲོག་གནང༌། (འགོད་པ་ 1:20-31 ལ་གཟིགས་) ཁོང་གིས་གཙོ་བོ་ཡེ་ཤུར་དད་པ་རྣམས་ལ་དམ་པའི་ཐུགས་ཉིད་མངགས། ཡེ་ཤུའི་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཀྱི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ནི་ནང་པའི་ཆོས་ཀྱི་དཀོན་མཆོག་དང་གཅིག་པ་མིན།ད


Nyugram found the Saviour Jesus Christ because he believed the prophecy in the shastra. Next time we will read how an apostle of Jesus refused to believe that Jesus had revived from death to be his Saviour, unless he actually saw and touched him.



We tell the story of a young man from a proud Sikh family, belonging to the culture of India and its ancient religious traditions.


Born in 1889 at Rampur in the Punjab of N. India, Sundar Singh was the third son of wealthy noble parents. As a young child, and then a teenager, he was very much influenced by his mother to seek the peace of oneness with the Supreme Spirit.

This he did. And by the age of seven he had already learned by heart much of the Bhavagad Gita. By 16 he had read the Granth, and the Quran of the Moslems, and about fifty of the Upanishads. In this manner, reading the scriptures and meditating on them, he was following the traditional Path of Knowledge (Jnana-Marga) for achieving salvation. He even spent some time under instruction by a holy man, and ‘stayed in seclusion’ (mtshams-la sdod) in concentrated meditation.                        Lastly, he read the Bible – it was at the Christian school in his village – but he found its message repulsive and opposed to the traditions of his Sikh fathers. So, one day he burnt a bible in the presence of his father.

But he did not find the peace that he sought. And the thought of committing suicide on the railway line came to him.

So, three days after burning the bible, waking at 3am, he took a cold bath and prayed,


‘O God, if there is a God, please show me the right way or I will kill myself.’


The train would pass at 5am, and he was thinking that if, he got no answer, maybe he would get it in the next life.

He went on praying until 4.30, hoping for peace. Then he saw a great light. He looked around; was the room on fire? No! Had God answered? He prayed while looking into the light. It was then he saw the glorious and loving form of the Lord Jesus.

How could he prostrate himself before the One whom he had insulted? But a voice spoke in the Hindi language,


‘How long will you persecute me? I have come to save you; you were praying to know the right way. Why do you not take it?’


And the thought came to him,


‘Jesus Christ is not dead but living and it must be He Himself.’


Then falling at His feet, a wonderful Peace came, such as he had been unable to find anywhere else.

It was a Peace and Joy that remained with him all his life.

He went at once to tell his father,


‘I have become a Christian. I have discovered that Jesus Christ is alive and have determined to be His follower. Today I am his disciple and I am going to serve Him.’



And that is what he did.

Family and relatives urged him to turn back. They told him of the shame and dishonour that would come to him; and of the wealth that he would lose. But he would not turn back.

Then persecution followed. They spoke against him.

Finally, he was given some poisoned food and thrown out. Although cast out without warm clothing, and having no belongings, except his bible in his hand, he had the peace of his Saviour in his heart. That first night felt like the joy of heaven.

He went on to be baptized in 1905. And then, wearing the yellow robe of a sadhu (holy man), and carrying no money, just his blanket and a bible, he preached Jesus Christ wherever he went – in the Punjab, Kashmir, Baluchistan, Afghanistan. From 1908 he spent the summer months for about 15 years in going up into Tibet, making the plateau his main field of work. He suffered in the cold, and was beaten, even tortured, for preaching Jesus. Then in 1929 he set off for the last time, but did not return.


John’s Gospel was Sundar’s favourite book in the Bible.  In it we read that Jesus promised to give His Peace to his followers:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

ངས་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་ཞི་བདེ་གནས་པར་བྱེད། ངའི་ཞི་བདེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོར་སྦྱིན། ངས་ཞི་བདེ་སྦྱིན་ཚུལ་ནི་འཇིག་རྟེན་གྱིས་ཞི་བདེ་སྟེར་ཚུལ་དང་མི་འདྲ་བས། ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་སེམས་མ་འཁྲུགས་ཤིང་མ་འཇིགས་ཤིག


Jesus also promised full understanding of the truth of his words to any person who would be willing to obey:

“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (John 7:17).

སུ་ཡང་དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་ཐུགས་དགོངས་བཞིན་དུ་སྒྲུབ་པར་ཆོད་སེམས་བཙུགས་ན། བསྟན་པ་འདི་ནི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ནས་བྱུང་ངམ། ཡང་ན་ངས་རང་ཐོག་ནས་བཤད་པ་ཡིན་ཤེས་པར་འགྱུར།


Details of Sundar’s life may be found in many books. The above information is taken from B.H.Streeter and A.J.Appasamy, The Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh, 1921 Macmillan.