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The CHRISTMAS story (Vocabulary & Phrases) -Learn English through Stories

Hello friends! This English lesson is a truly divine one. Along with learning English, you will also learn about the meaning and the true story of Christmas. So join me, to hear the story of the birth of Christ and to learn useful English Vocabulary through that. My name is Michelle and you are watching me on Let’s Talk. So Let’s Talk Christmas. This English lesson is an attempt to teach you English through stories, where you could improve your listening skills and learn some great vocabulary and phrases for daily English conversation.

Let’s understand the meanings of some difficult words from the story:

1. Betrothed- the person to whom one is engaged.
For ex: Mary was betrothed to Joseph.

2. Conceived- the moment when a women becomes pregnant
For ex: Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, which means she was going to bear a child even though she was a virgin. And that’s why Mary was petrified. Now what does that mean?

3. Petrified- when you are so scared that you are unable to move.
For example: In this story Mary was so scared to see the angel that she couldn’t move, so she was petrified.

4. Humbled & Wonderstruck- So humbled means you feel very less about yourself because of something that someone has done for you and wonderstruck is when you are surprised or amazed.
For example: Here Mary was humbled and wonderstruck to know that she was chosen to give birth to God’s own Son.

5. Immanuel- This is a common English name meaning- God with Us and it is also another name of Jesus Christ.

6. Inexplicably- something for which there is no explanation.
For example: Mary got pregnant inexplicably as she was still a virgin.

7. Nonplussed- so surprised and confused that you are unsure how to react.
For example: Joseph here is nonplussed to find out that his TO BE wife is already pregnant.

8. Infidelity- to cheat your husband by having an affair with someone outside your marriage.
For example: Joseph’s first thought was that Mary had committed infidelity again him, which was at that time a….

9. Grave social stigma- this means, when someone is not accepted in the society due to some illness or something they have done.
For example: So, if Joseph decided to tell everyone that Mary was pregnant outside their marriage, she would have to face social stigma.

10.Initial reaction- this is your first reaction upon hearing a news.
For Example: As soon as Joseph got to know Mary was pregnant, his initial reaction was to break his engagement with her.

11. Make it public- But then he decided not to make it public, which means, he decided to keep this matter a secret.

12. Verify- means to confirm
For example: So, to Mary’s rescue, an angel came to verify her story in Joseph’s dream.

13. Public humiliation- Embarrassment in front of everyone
For example: Joseph married Mary to save her form public humiliation.

12.Decreed- past of the word decree, which means to give out a law
For example: So, here the King decreed that a census would be taken. Now what really is a Census?

13. Census- it means an official count of the total population
For example: For the census Joseph and Mary had to go to their hometown Bethlehem to register which means to get their names written down.

14. Overrun- occupied by too many people
For example: in Bethlehem the guesthouse was overrun that’s why Mary had to give birth in a….

15. Crude stable/Manger- which means a simple place where horses and cattle as in cows, donkeys etc. live.

16. Hallelujah- There came the wise men from East singing Hallelujah i.e. a combination of two Hebrew words meaning “Praise ye the Lord.”

Complete Lesson Transcript –

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! Hi guys, Merry Christmas, spare my bad singing. Do you know today is someone’s birthday? Guess whose birthday is it on Christmas? No, it’s not Santa’s birthday. It’s the birthday of Jesus Christ and guess what, I only found this out quite recently and do you know how wonderful is the story of the birth of Jesus Christ? And today I am talking about it because it’s Christmas day and we have every reason to talk about the birth story of Jesus Christ. So join me to hear the story of Christ’s birth and to learn some useful English Vocabulary through this story. My name is Michelle and you are watching me on your favourite channel let’s talk. So let’s talk Christmas, Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas.

So let’s read the story together. Do you like listening to stories? Then is the perfect lesson for you. So let’s start. Mary, a young teenager living in the village of Nazareth was betrothed to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. One day, God sent an angel to visit Mary. The angel told Mary that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would give birth to this child and name him, Jesus. At first, Mary was petrified by the angel’s words. Being a virgin, Mary questioned the angel, how can this happen? The angel explained that the child would be God’s own son and that is nothing is impossible with God. The name of the child, he said would be Emmanuel. Humbled and wonderstruck, Mary believed the angel of the Lord and rejoiced in God her saviour. So this is the first part of the story. Tell me that this wasn’t interesting? Now before we read the story further, let’s understand the meaning of some difficult words from what we just read.

So let’s start with the first word. The first word that may have confused you would be betrothed. What does it mean to be betrothed? So betrothed means to be engaged to somebody, alright before the marriage. The first ceremony before the marriage. For example, Mary was betrothed to Joseph.

The second word is, conceived. This means the moment when a woman becomes pregnant with a baby. For example, Mary was conceived by the Son of God, which means she was going to bear a child even though she was a virgin and that’s why Mary was petrified. Now, what does that mean? Okay, so petrified means when you are so scared that you are unable to move. So as we read that in this story, Mary was petrified to see the angel of God. So she was so scared that she saw the angel and she couldn’t move. So that means that she was petrified. I’m sure you’ve been petrified as well.

Okay, now the next two words are humbled and wonderstruck. So, humbled means when you feel very less about yourself because of something that someone has done for you. Okay and Wonderstruck is when you are surprised or amazed by something. Alright so in this story, who was humbled and wonderstruck? Think about it. It was Mary and why was she humbled? Because she realized that God chose her so that she can give birth to God’s own son. Okay, now the next word is a very common English name. Think about it, Emmanuel. Yes, that’s a common English name and actually, it means God with us and would you believe this is another name of Jesus Christ? That’s a revelation, I never knew about it. Okay, now it’s time to read the story further. I hope you’re really enjoying this. Okay, so keep watching.

Let’s read it further. So while Mary was still betrothed to Joseph, she inexplicably became pregnant, just as the angel had said. When Mary told Joseph, she was an expectant mother; he must have been nonplussed and disgraced. He knew the child was not his own child and Mary’s obvious infidelity, carried a grave social stigma. Although Joseph’s initial reaction was to break the engagement with Mary but he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her any further shame and that’s why he decided to not make it public. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary’s story and to tell him that his marriage to Mary was God’s will. The angel explained that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and that his name would be, yes we all know, Jesus and that he was the Messiah, which means he was the saviour. Now when Joseph woke up from his dream, he willingly obeyed God’s decision and took Mary to be his wife in spite of the public humiliation he would face.

So now, here we have the meanings of some more difficult and complicated words from what we read just now. So let’s start exploring these difficult words. The first word that may have confused you would be inexplicably, which means that something for which there is no explanation. Like Mary got pregnant inexplicably, which means that there was no explanation for her pregnancy as she was still a virgin. The second word is, nonplussed. This means that you are so surprised and so confused that you don’t know how to react. Okay, so this is what Joseph’s situation was. When he heard about Mary’s pregnancy, he was so nonplussed that he did not know how to react. Okay, now the next word is infidelity. So infidelity is the opposite of the word, fidelity. Fidelity means loyalty and infidelity means to cheat somebody by having an affair outside your marriage. So as we just read, Joseph’s first thought was that Mary had committed infidelity against him, which was at that time, a grave social stigma. Okay now, this is the complicated phrase for sure. Grave here does not mean the grave in which you bury people but it means a serious social stigma and a social stigma means when someone is not accepted in the society due to some illness or something that they have done. So if Joseph decided to tell everyone that Mary was pregnant outside their marriage, she would definitely have to face some grave social stigma. Alright, the next word is initial reaction. So, what happens when you just hear strange news? How do you react first? Yes, that’s what is an initial reaction. Your first reaction upon hearing news and here, Joseph’s first reaction to hearing about Mary’s pregnancy was to break his engagement with her but then he decided not to make it public. Okay, this is a clever one, not to make it public means he decided to keep this matter a secret. So when you don’t want to tell a secret to everybody, this means that you don’t want to make it public but you rather want to keep it private. Alright, the next word is, verify, verify means to confirm something. Here, the angel came to verify Mary’s story and the last word for this section of the story is, public humiliation. Now, humiliation means embarrassment. Okay, and public means in front of everyone. So when you are embarrassed in front of everyone, that’s called public humiliation. Great, now let’s read the final part of the story. Are you enjoying this? I hope you’re excited to read it further. So here we go.

At that time, the King decreed that a census would be taken. Every person in the Roman world had to return to his or her hometown to register. Joseph, being of the line of David was required to go to Bethlehem, which is a small town in Israel to register with Mary. Now while in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Because of the census, the guest house was overrun and Mary gave birth to Jesus in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in clothes and placed him in a manger. At this time, wise men from the east came singing Halleluiah offering presents to the newborn baby.

Well here we are at the end of the story but not at the end of the lesson coz we are still going to explore some more interesting words from this final part of the story.

Okay, so the first word we have here is, decreed. Decreed means to pass a law or to declare a law. Now in this part of the story, the King decreed, as in, gave out a law that a census would be taken. Now what is census, sounds like a strange word? Do you know about it? Okay, let me tell you, census means an official count of the population. This happens in every country. In every country, we have a census every year to find out how many people are living in that country. So for the census, going back to the story, Joseph and Mary had to go to their hometown, Bethlehem. Okay now when they went to Bethlehem, they saw that the guesthouse was overrun. Okay run and overrun, okay what does overrun mean? Running too much? No, overrun means when a place is occupied with too many people. Alright so the guesthouse was overrun and that’s why Mary had to give birth in a crude stable or a manger. Have you heard of the word, manger? Okay, the manger is where Jesus was born. He was not born in a palace; he was born in a humble manger. A manger is a place where there is a lot of hay, grass and animals like horses and other cattle. Okay, so this is what, manger means and as you saw that, in the end, men from the east came singing Halleluiah. Now that’s a very common word that you must have heard in some songs or if you’ve been to the church. So Halleluiah is a combination of two Hebrew words, which means, praise the Lord.

Finally, here we are at the end of the lesson where we have finished learning some useful vocabulary through a very interesting story. I hope this was fun for you and you would come back for more story lessons with me. Thank you so much for watching this lesson. A Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas to you. See you very soon, bye.

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