Summary: The gift of God’s Son is our Christmas gift.

December 2 ,2007

Matthew 2:1-12

Gift Giving

There are only 23 days left before Christmas, so I hope you have your Christmas list set. Normally it works this way in our house, Debbie asks me what I want for Christmas and I always give her the same answer, “You’re all I need baby.” Actually, I should try that one next year.

Really, I say, “I don’t need anything, so don’t get me anything.” She wants to buy me something, and honestly, deep down, I want a present too, but I’m not very helpful.

Joshua and Zachary are just about ready for Christmas. Whenever a commercial comes on they tell us that would be good for them. They also make lists of what they want. I want Joshua and Zachary to have fun, in fact, I want to have fun, I want all of us to have fun with Christmas, but is that the purpose of Christmas?

Yet, a focus for many of us at Christmas is on giving gifts. After all, what would Christmas be without giving gifts? So, what kinds of gifts are you giving and what are you wanting from others?

Every Christmas my goal is to take a fresh new look at the Christmas story. To find something new and refreshing. I found something in the story of the wise men. I’m impressed by the fact that their gift was personally given. These were wealthy men from Persia, today we call it Iraq, about 1,000 miles from Bethlehem. And they went through all the effort to deliver the gift to Jesus. We get to hear some of what they experienced on the journey . . . Matthew tells us - - - ‘they came to worship Jesus. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. And they came opened their treasures, presented gifts and fell down and worshiped Him.’ It was personally given.

The second thing I noticed is that it was properly given. When I say it was properly given, it was more than a gift and that’s what I want to talk about this morning. It was more than just gold, frankincense and myrrh. Its purpose was to bring worship, adoration, glory, honor and praise to Jesus.

There are lots of gifts we can give at Christmas time, but I want to focus on 3 kinds of gifts we usually give.

The first is called REGIFTING.

You know what I’m talking about. Most adults have been there and done it. But today we have a fancy word for this art called REGIFTING.

That’s right . . . regifting. If you do a google search you will come up with 154,000 hits for the word regifting. There are rules and ethics and tips you can find on the Internet.

For those of you who have not participated, it goes like this - - - you get that wonderful tie which is totally hideous and impractical, or maybe it’s a shirt which is on the ugly shirt dot com web site. But you say thank you with a smile, and you immediately begin to wonder who else could use this tie or shirt, or whatever it is. So, you file the item away, and at first chance you repackage it, only after considering that the person you give it to is not related to the person you got it from.

Another thing we do with gift giving is something I call a GIFT for a GIFT, GIFT.

Basically, a gift for a gift, gift occurs when we get a gift from somebody; we say, "Oh-oh, I didn’t get them anything, now, I’ve got to get them a gift because they gave me a gift. We figure out the cost of their gift, possibly it is a regifted gift; then we run to Wal-Mart, and buy a gift for about the same price. It’s called a gift for a gift, gift. And we’ve all given a gift for a gift, gift.

And you know what, the couple of days before Christmas, why do you think the stores are so crowded, 1,000’s of people are running to the stores because they just got a gift for a gift, gift and they have to get a gift for the person who gave them a gift, for the gift, gift.

It’s the same way with Christmas cards. Every time you get a late Christmas card, it’s probably because that person didn’t expect you to send them a card. Nothing’s worse then getting a Christmas card on Christmas Eve from somebody that wasn’t on your list.

A second style of gift giving is the gift for a favor gift.

This occurs when a person gives you a gift, not expecting a gift in return, but expecting you to do nice things or at least something for them. This person also loves to keep score. They love to have I.O.U.s. They’re the type of people, who if they loaned you $1, would hold it against you, because now you owe them.

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