Summary: Opens with some gift-wrapping funnies, closes with great illus. is study of HOW GOD WRAPPED His greatest gift, HOW MARY WRAPPED the gift, HOW SATAN WRAPS the gift, and HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT UNWRAPS it. Powerpoint at website.

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Gift Wrapped

II Cor. 9:15; Luke 2:7

Powerpoint for this sermon and all other GBC sermons located at

"Thanks be unto God for his UNSPEAKABLE gift.’’--II Cor. 9:15.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life.’’--Rom. 6:23.

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and WRAPPED him in swaddling clothes.’’--Luke 2:7.

This is the time of year when we think back to when the Three Wise Men went to see the baby Jesus, and, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. ’’These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often-overlooked, theological fact:

In this account: There is no mention of wrapping paper!

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so: "And lo,

the gifts were encompassed about with 7 square cubits of paper. ``And the paper was covered within and without with pictures of Frosty, a man of snow. And Joseph purposed in his heart to cast the paper into the barrel of refuse, but Mary saith unto him, `Cease man!

Drop the decorative parchment! It should be set aside for future generations!’

"And Joseph didst roll his eyeballs."

And it came to pass that the babe WAS more interested in the paper than the frankincense.

…But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very

first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people

giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

1. They were wise. 2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion: This is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two

guys I know. One is my dad, who says the only time he ever wraps a

gift is, quote, "if it’s such a poor gift that I don’t want to BE there

when the person opens it.’’

The other is my brother in law, who told me he does wrap gifts,

but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift.

Then there’s me…no one ever has to ask which gifts I wrapped…"They are the ones that look like enormous spitballs.’’

For some reason, I can never COMPLETELY wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a section of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen or scotch tape.)

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping

paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My mother, like many women,

actually LIKES wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires

batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is bordering on mental illness.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills -- like having

babies -- that come more naturally to women than to men.


Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped.

No sizes, or at least underestimate…it has to go back no matter what!

The editors of Woman’s Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch.

They must be smoking crack!

If you’re giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put

it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it.

This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky

recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?

YOU: It’s a gift! See? It has a bow!

YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It’s a leaf blower.

YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!

YOUR WIFE: Thanks a lot!

YOU: Actually, I’m God’s gift to you.

YOUR WIFE: I don’t think God does Gag gifts!

Remember that the important thing is not what you give,

or even how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Man doesn’t know much about wrapping, but man HAS learned all that he knows about giving from God. God is in the giving business.

God gave Adam and Eve a piece of skin from an innocent animal to replace the fig leaves and cover their shame of nakedness.

God gave Noah a plan for the ark that would provide for the saving of his household when judgment came.

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Robert Simmons

commented on Nov 25, 2006

As always, Rev. Shirley, your message here is well-constructed, theologically sound, intellectually stimulating and spiritually uplifting. WOW! Thank you so much for sharing!

George Johnston

commented on Nov 29, 2010

Very inciteful, love the personal illustrations as they are so typically men they are humorous.

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