Without Christ There Is No Christmas

courtesy pixabayIf someone asked us to explain Christmas, what would we tell them?

Would we start by explaining the Christmas tree, mistletoe, and Santa Claus? (Or as Lucy from the Peanuts gang might say, “Ho, ho, ho, mistletoe and pret-ty girls”?)

Or would we start with the brightly wrapped presents we give to each other?

Maybe we’d explain about families and friends gathering together for a festive celebration. Or mention the different customs across the world. Then again, maybe we’d mention Christmas plays, bells, and Handel’s Messiah.

How far down the list would it be before we mentioned the virgin birth of Jesus, God’s son born as a human baby who lived as a man, walked this earth, was falsely accused and sentenced to die a most horrible death through crucifixion to save us from our sins?

Hopefully, that would be at the top of our list. But at this time of year when so much of our time is spent in outward busyness, if people observed our activities and priorities, would they see Christ is what Christmas is all about and the reason we celebrate?

Without Jesus Christ there would be no angels singing Glory to God in the Highest.

There would be no shepherds bowing before a baby in a manger.

No wise men bringing the best gifts they had to offer to the future King.

Without Jesus Christ the Messiah there would be no Savior. There would be no salvation. No resurrection. No hope.

Simply put, without Christ there is no Christmas.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!”

 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”  Luke 2:8-14 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my post is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire today, Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Please stop by and check it out.

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Once Again It’s Christmas

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Less than a week before December 25.

I’m sure you did not need a reminder of that fact. We’ve been bombarded with the countdown to Christmas since before Thanksgiving.

Decorations. Stores. Lights. Wish lists. TV specials. The list goes on and on.

We are surrounded with advertisements telling us our lives will be incomplete if we don’t have X, Y, or Z. Our loved ones will be disappointed Christmas morning if they don’t find P, Q, R under the tree or in the driveway. But is that really true? I think not.

In our quest to have the perfect Christmas tree, decorations, meals, outfits, gifts … have we forgotten something? Is something missing?

What about going back to the original Christmas story. The one recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke about our Savior’s birth. There we find simplicity. Love. Wonder. Praise. Humility. Glory. Peace. Worship.

If Jesus has gotten pushed to the side, or worse yet, forgotten in our striving for the perfect Christmas, how about we pause, take inventory of our priorities, and make the main thing the main thing.

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened.  The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.” 

Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:  “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.” Luke 2:8-14 (NCV)

And to quote Linus, “…That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

How are you keeping the main thing the main thing this holiday season?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well,

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

What is Christmas?

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

If someone had never heard of Christmas before and asked us, “What is Christmas?” how would we answer them?

I’ll give you a minute to think about that.

Would we start by explaining the Christmas tree, mistletoe, and Santa Claus? (Or as Lucy might say, “Ho, ho, ho, mistletoe and pret-ty girls?)

Or would we start with the brightly wrapped presents we give to each other?

courtesy pixabayMaybe we’d explain about families and friends gathering together for a festive celebration and the different customs across the world.

Then again, maybe we’d mention Christmas plays and concerts along with Handel’s Messiah.

How far down the list would it be before we mentioned the virgin birth of Jesus, God’s son, born as a human baby, who lived as a man, walked this earth, was falsely accused and sentenced to die a most horrible death through crucifixion to save us from our sins?

Hopefully, that would be at the top of our list, but at this time of year if people observed our activities and priorities, is that what they’d assume? Would they see Jesus holds the top spot in our lives?

As Kutless sings in the song below, what is Christmas if there never was a savior wrapped in a manger?

What is Christmas without Christ?

Without Jesus there would be no angels signing Glory to God in the Highest. No courtesy pixabay adoration of the shepherdsshepherds bowing before a baby in a manger. No wise men bringing the best gifts they had to offer.

Without Jesus there would be no salvation. No resurrection. No hope.

We celebrate because of Jesus.

And that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!”

 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang,“and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”  Luke 2:8-14 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — Glory to God in the Highest

Isaiah 40That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.” Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying: “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.” Luke 2:8-14

Which would have been better? To be one of the angels announcing Jesus’ birth, or to be one of the shepherds hearing the announcement? Either way, I think it would have been an amazing privilege.

Think about times when you have been the bearer of glad tidings…good news…exciting information. Think also about when you have been the recipient of such wonderful news. Pretty fortunate, no matter which end of the conversation you are on.

I truly cannot fathom how either of these groups of beings felt at the revelation that Jesus. Messiah. Savior. Redeemer. King. God’s only son, was born.

If you think about it, those of us who claim Jesus as our LORD, are in the place of both the angels and the shepherds. We’ve been given the wonderful news, and have the privilege of telling others.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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For Unto Us a Child is Born

Photo SQuandt
Living Nativity_Bavaria, Germany

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 (AMP)

There were some shepherds living in the same part of the country, keeping guard throughout the night over their flocks in the open fields. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by their side, the splendour of the Lord blazed around them, and they were terror-stricken. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen, I bring you glorious news of great joy which is for all the people. This very day, in David’s town, a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ, the Lord. Let this prove it to you: you will find a baby, wrapped up and lying in a manger. And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!” Luke 2:8-14 (Phillips)

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,

Rembrandt’s Head of Christ
Credit Line:
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917
Metropolitan Museum of Art

nothing to attract us to him.
 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.

Photo SQuandt
St. Maria im Kapitol
Cologne, Germany

Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.

Theatinerkirche_Munich
Photo SQuandt

And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. Isaiah 53 (NLT)

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

With every good wish for a blessed Christmas.

Remembering we are the reason Christ came into this world, to suffer and die, I leave you with this YouTube video of It’s About the Cross, by Go Fish.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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