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Summary: Christmas eve

Story – Gift Bags

One of the top ten inventions of the 20th century - Gift Bags. Drop in the gift, add tissue, forget about it.

How many gift bag addicts here? My wife is. Have you see the gift bag organizer system? Do you find that sometimes the gift bag is better than the gift? I don’t think it is the same. Used to be – all gifts equal under the tree. Everything looks the same Now, with gift bag gifts, not all gift are equal.

Gift of Jesus.

Mary and Joseph expecting a special child. Yet there he is, Little Fingers….Little Toes...He looks like every other baby. They hold him – thinking they understand. They have, no, idea. Like the presents under the tree – he doesn’t look any different. Jesus looks like people, Acts like people, Eats like people.

John 1:10 He was in the world,

and though the world was made through him,

the world did not recognize him.

Jesus –

A good man.

A great example.

Wonderful teacher on morality.

There in their arms, their own creator, the creator of the world, full of power, wisdom, intellect - The almighty God. We imagine that if Jesus was walking around today we would him, like that! We wouldn’t. He looked so ordinary. No wonder thousands turned away. No wonder many treated him with distain. No wonder we miss who he is.

Is it any wonder we fool ourselves too? We expect our image of God…

What we think God should be…How God should approach us...and God comes to us in the ordinary, in humility, the everyday, meeting us where we are at, taking us for who we are.

You can count on it that Mary and Joseph’s relatives asked, "Are you sure this is the one?" He looks so…..everyday.

This is the one thing. The one thing. There is the power. There is the love. There is the mercy. There is the hope. It all culminatrs in Jesus.

The Alamo.

Lived in San Antonio, as you know. Everytime we had friends in town they had to go see Alamo, that great American Icon. Everytime we went to see it, everyone, everyone, gave the same response; That’s it! It’s so small...Let’s go to the Riverwalk.

John 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

That’s not what I was expecting, Jesus – that’s it! Let’s go to the Riverwalk. Is it any wonder we miss who Jesus is?

Story – Katie and the wrapping paper.

Mom’s way of gift wrapping was to separately cover lid, and base of a box with paper so to wrap a gift all you had to do was place the item in the bax and put on the top. To open simply slide of the top, Re-use next year.

First Christmas at my parents after we got married, Katie – ripped open her gift, The whole family – deep breath...Whaaaat...That box was – 15 years old. I forgot to tell her about that tradition. She did not endear herself to my mom that Christmas.

Are we too concerned with the package? Jesus – how could we miss him?

Story – Professional Gift Wrapper.

I wa waiting at the airport, bored and asked the lady next to me what she did for a living - "I’m a professional gift wrapper". Really. When did gift wrapping become a profesion? Was Jesus a Professional? Everyone is a professional now. Golf – there was a time when it was just golf.

Trampoline – wahtever is up with that? Kato Kalin – OJ’s friend, Professional Leach of society.

Now, I have been a “Professional Gift Wrapper” when I worked in a store. They have all these wrapping rules. It is amazing. This ribbon must go with this paper. No tape showing. Clean crisp corners. Images must line up. Finish in 4 minutes or less. Ok.

Evelyn – The Scrap Lady.

We had this old lady working with us, and I mean OLD. She would save every little piece during the day. If she got a really big box, she would take the gift and patch it together, with all these pieces she wouls save up - it looked terrible! That will be $15.00. People didn’t know what to say...

So was Jesus a professional? He certainly isn’t what we expect.

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him,

to those who believed in his name,

he gave the right to become children of God —

John 1:13 children born not of natural descent,

nor of human decision or a husband’s will,

but born of God.

If we take the gift of Jesus, the mercy, the love, the acceptance...

If we are receptive to him, we have the right - The right, Absolutely unbelievable, The right - to become the children of God. How cool is that? And we than can tell others. I gave my life to God, my life to Jesus

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