Summary: Looking at the classic movie "A Christmas Story", we look at the perfect gifts of the Magi and the perfect gifts God has given us.
A CHRISTMAS STORY
When I was a little kid, from about the age of 8 until the age of 10 my Granny would keep a jar for me in her kitchen cabinet. Whenever she had an extra dollar or a little extra change, she would put it in that jar for me. Around the end of November I would go over to my Granny’s house and count the money in the jar. I’d roll all of the change and take it to the bank to exchange it for paper money. Usually I’d end up with about $50. Then I would take that $50 and go to the mall in search of the perfect Christmas presents for my family. I’d buy presents for my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles. The majority of my money was spent at places like the Dollar store. I never got my family big, fantastic presents, but I took a lot pride in shopping for them. I thought about each person as I bought their present hoping that they would like it. I wanted to give each of them the perfect gift.
The perfect gift. Everyone wants to give their loved ones the perfect gift. A recent poll out of Britain said that the average Briton spends $630 a year on Christmas presents, gives up to 15 hours shopping for the gifts and walks over 20 miles in stores all in search for the perfect gifts. What was intriguing though, was that in the same poll, what ranked as the perfect gift for people was to spend time with their loved ones over Christmas. That is the perfect gift for many.
God delights in giving the perfect gift. The Bible tells us in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” Jesus tells us this about God’s gift giving in Matthew 7:11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Tonight, we continue our message series on Christmas Classics. Last week, we viewed a clip from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and compared the heart problems of King Herod and the Grinch. Tonight, we will view a clip of my favorite Christmas movie and the movie just voted as the best Christmas movie of all time: A Christmas Story. A Christmas Story is a movie that allows us to look inside a family Christmas from the late 1930’s, early 1940’s era. It’s main plot has to do with an obsession the main character- 10 year old Ralphie – has with what would be his perfect Christmas gift: a Red Ryder Bee Bee Gun.
View video clip from “A Christmas Story”.
Our main text for the message will be from Matthew 2:9-11, “After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.”
Tonight, I want us to see that God is the source of every perfect gift. He’s given us many. But I also want us to see that God can make a heartfelt and sincere gift into the perfect gift as well. We see this as we first look at:
I. THE MAGI’S PERFECT GIFTS.
“Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
What made these gifts of gold and incense and myrrh perfect? I believe that there were two reasons why the Magi’s gifts were the perfect gifts:
A. Their gifts were symbolic.
John Stott writes, “Gold is the gift fit for a King. Frankincense was in constant use by the priests in the temple. Myrrh was used to embalm the dead. In those three gifts we see who he is, what he came to do, and what it would cost him.”
The Magi had no idea how symbolic their gifts were. But they were symbolic as well as being extremely appropriate. These were the perfect gifts for Jesus. What also made the Magi’s gifts perfect were that:
B. Their gifts were helpful.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says this about the Magi’s gifts to Jesus: “The gifts were simply expensive and not uncommon presents and may have helped finance the trip to Egypt.”
Remember, that soon after Jesus was born, Joseph was warned in a dream to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to protect the child from King Herod. It is expensive to travel and these gifts served as support for their trip and stay in Egypt.