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Gabriel Hurles was enjoying his sixth birthday party. He was so focused on eating his birthday cake, that he hardly noticed the giant package in the corner of the room. When another child pointed out the large gift, Gabriel ran over and began to tear off the wrapping. It wasn’t a bicycle or any of the other items a six-year-old would want. It was his dad, Army Specialist Casey Hurles, home on leave from the war in Iraq. Gabriel and his father had been apart for seven months, so when Casey learned his leave would coincide with his son’s birthday, he hatched a plan to offer one whale of a surprise.”


That’s what God has done for us. He has wrapped himself up and presented himself to us. Yet, too many of us are like young Gabriel. We’re too busy eating cake to pay attention to the giant package in the corner of the room. At Christmas time we can be too busy focused on food and shopping and gifts and everything else, which is good; cake is good, but all the while we miss the whale of a surprise-Jesus. Gabriel had a friend who pointed out the large gift and then Gabriel ran to open it. I am here today, as that friend, pointing out to you the large, unopened gift that sits in the corner. The question is: are you going to ignore me and go on eating your cake or are you going to be like Gabriel and tear off the wrapping? Oswald Chambers wrote, “Thousands of people in this world profess to be happy without God. But if we could be truly happy and moral without Jesus then why did he come?” Jesus came so that we would experience the greatest gift, the blessing of having God with us. He came so that we would experience the blessing of his glory. He came so that we would have the blessing of knowing his grace and truth. He came to offer his life so that we would be beneficiaries of the greatest gift of all-eternal life. That’s why we celebrate the birth-because of what his death accomplished for us.

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