What if the Shepherds Didn’t Seek the Messiah?

courtesy pexels.comWhat if the shepherds didn’t seek the Messiah?

The Bible tells us a multitude of Heavenly Hosts filled the sky the night Jesus Christ was born. In their appearance to the shepherds watching their flocks, we’re told the shepherds were afraid. I’d be frightened, too, if an army of angels suddenly appeared in the sky. Wouldn’t you?

An angel told the shepherds the news he shared was great. He said it would bring great joy to everyone. The great news was the announcement of the Savior’s birth. After the angels praised God over Christ’s birth, they told the shepherds to go see what had happened.

We remember the shepherds left their flock of sheep, their livelihood, and went to Bethlehem. The City of David.

In Bethlehem, the shepherds found Baby Jesus in a manger.

Before the shepherds headed to Bethlehem, they did not form a committee to figure out the best way to get to Jesus. They did not ponder what they should say when they found the baby. They didn’t vote to see who would lead the way. They simple got up and went.

The shepherds left their sheep and went quickly into Bethlehem. Once they found the newborn baby, they told Mary and Joseph what the angels said to them in the field. Today your Savior was born…He is Christ, the Lord. Then the shepherds returned to their sheep, praised, and thanked God.

But what if the shepherds didn’t go?  What if the shepherds didn’t leave the security of their fields?  What if they didn’t walk however-many-miles into Bethlehem?  What if they didn’t search for Jesus?  Would their lives be changed, or would they be content to let the day of Christ’s birth pass by without notice?

Like the shepherds we are given a glorious message. Unlike the shepherds we live this side of the cross. We know what it cost God to send his son, Jesus, into our world to save us from our sins.

As we reflect on Christmas and the birth of a baby in the manger who became the Savior on the cross, we too must seek the Messiah. We must go quickly and tell others the Good News of a Savior who came to seek and to save everyone who is lost.

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When the angels went away from them back 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.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Luke 2:15-18 (GNT)

I wish you well.


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The Shadow of the Cross at Christmas

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Christmastime makes it really difficult for me to keep secrets. And I’m not fond of secrets.

When I was a child, the suspense of not knowing what was in the packages with my name on them was torturous. Absolute torture. Because of that, more times than not I surreptitiously lifted the cellophane tape off one end of my brightly colored presents and peeked inside.

After years of practice, I became an expert at unwrapping the package without damaging the paper, sneaking a peek, replacing the tape, and acting surprised on Christmas morning.

When I clandestinely unwrapped my Christmas presents, if there was a toy inside, whoopee! If there was a necessary sweater, or more knee socks, well …

As an adult, I have the same problem. Only in reverse.

I get so excited about what I’ve bought Pilot, I can’t wait for him to open it. To help him figure out the gift I give him hints. Sometimes, he won’t play along.

When I think about it, I wonder if God felt the same excitement and anticipation I feel at Christmas when he prepared to send his Gift of Love to our broken world. All through the Bible God gives us hints as to what was to come. The shadow of the cross. Sometimes his clues were ignored, and the people and wouldn’t play along, but that didn’t take away the gift.

God’s prophets spoke of a Messiah. Shepherd. Cornerstone. One from the house of Jesse. One from the line of David whose kingdom would never end. A Savior. Immanuel. God with us. These words hold joy and excitement.

Unlike the words in Isaiah 53:5. Words like pierced, crushed, punishment, wounds.

That’s when I understand the shadow of the cross of Calvary hung over the joyful gift of a baby in a manger in Bethlehem.

And I cry.

When I set up our manger scene for Christmas, I place  a cross with a crown of thorns next to it.

Lest I get caught up in the presents, the baking, the decorations, and the carols, I need a reminder in front of me. Perhaps you do as well.

Christmas is about much more than a baby, gifts, and family. Christmas is about the cross. It’s about the sacrifice, the suffering, and the Savior who died and rose again so we might live.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get excited about the gifts under the tree. But it’s the gift that hung on a tree, that really matters.

What do you think?

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But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (GNT)

I wish you well,


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Why We Celebrate Jesus’ Birth

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Once again Christmas has come and gone.

As we put Christmas 2016 behind us for another year, here are a few quotes to remind us why we celebrated the birth of our Savior two days ago, in the hope we remember the reason for the holiday everyday throughout 2017.

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

“Christmas is that moment in time when God, in His unconditional love, stepped out of heaven onto earth, in order that we might one day step out of earth into heaven.” ~ Charles F. Stanley

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” ~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham

“The Christ child in the manger is forever an indication of the great lengths God will go to reconcile his creation, a savior willing to descend that we might be able to ascend with him…” ~ Ravi Zacharia

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” ~ J.I. Packer

Which of these quotes is your favorite?

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 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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Sunday Scriptures Glory to God in the Highest!

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Glory to God in the Highest! the angels sang on that night so long ago. Today we say, Happy Birthday, Jesus as we celebrate the birthday of the King of kings and Lord of lords. God’s only son. Immanuel – God with us. Prince of Peace. Savior. Redeemer. Friend.

Merry Christmas, Everyone! I pray God’s blessings upon you and your household.

Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets, in visions, dreams, and even face to face, telling them little by little about his plans. But now in these days he has spoken to us through his Son to whom he has given everything and through whom he made the world and everything there is. God’s Son shines out with God’s glory, and all that God’s Son is and does marks him as God. He regulates the universe by the mighty power of his command. He is the one who died to cleanse us and clear our record of all sin, and then sat down in highest honor beside the great God of heaven.

 Thus he became far greater than the angels, as proved by the fact that his name “Son of God,” which was passed on to him from his Father, is far greater than the names and titles of the angels. For God never said to any angel, “You are my Son, and today I have given you the honor that goes with that name.” But God said it about Jesus. Another time he said, “I am his Father and he is my Son.” And still another time—when his firstborn Son came to earth—God said, “Let all the angels of God worship him.” Hebrews 1:1-6 (TLB)

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I wish you well.


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Mary Was Blessed Among Women

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Many a time I’ve tried. I really have. But I just cannot imagine what it was like to be Mary, the mother of Jesus. To be a teenager engaged to be married, and told you would become pregnant with a child that was not your intended’s? To be told by an angel, of all things.

That right there would be scary enough.

God found favor in Mary. He chose her to give birth to the long awaited, much prayed for Messiah. Savior. Deliver. Mary was blessed above all others.

Bing Photos

A poor girl from the village of Nazareth. A descendant of the House of David. Mary was honored above all women who ever were and ever would be. Her son’s kingdom would never end.

How can you be the mother of the child of God?

It’s difficult enough being the mother of a regular everyday garden variety child. But to raise the son of the One True Creator God?

Like I said, I just cannot imagine it.

I can’t truly understand the flood of emotions that must have coursed through Mary’s every waking, and probably sleeping, moment. Me? The vessel chosen to deliver the Messiah to the world?

I believe that in God’s omnipotent, omniscient love and grace he shielded Mary from the shadow of the cross for as long as he could.

Beyond the awesomeness of being chosen to carry Immanuel in her womb must have Bing Photosbeen the pain of telling Joseph she was pregnant.

Would he believe her? Really believe her? Fortunately, God took care of that when he sent an angel to inform Joseph of what was going on.

Then, of course there were the neighbors. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Did the gossip sting Mary’s heart? God took care of that too when Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth pronounced the fact Mary held the Savior in her womb. Affirmation of who Jesus was. Who Mary was.

There were the angels. The shepherds. The wise men. Anna and Simeon in the temple.  Witnesses to the great thing the LORD God Almighty had done and would do.

God continues to use his people to accomplish his plans.

We won’t give birth to the Messiah, but like Mary if we’ve claimed Jesus as our LORD and Savior, we carry Christ inside us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It then becomes our responsibility to praise God for the great things he has done for us through his love, mercy, and grace and share that wonder with those around us.

Do you ever wonder how Mary felt when she found out she would be the mother of the Messiah?

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Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.” Luke 1:46-50 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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