Summary: It’s poor etiquette to attend a party and don’t bring the host/honoree a gift. We should feel privileged to receive an invitation to attend. Therefore, it’s extremely important that we bring the right gifts to the honoree.

“’THE’ Birthday Celebration”

Isaiah 9:3 (MSG); Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11(NIV)

Isaiah 9:3 (NIV)

3You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you

as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

Isaiah 9:3 (MSG)

3You repopulated the nation, You expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in Your presence!

Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.

Matthew 2:11 (NIV)

11 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, frankincense and myrrh.

Church, to clearly understand this message, please read Isaiah 9 and Matthew 2. Today we want to address the subject, “’THE’ Birthday Celebration.” All over the globe, from the north to the south, from the east to the west, many individuals are planning to have a celebration on December 25th. It is a traditional pattern of the saved and unsaved to celebrate on this day. While not all celebrations are correctly focused, many still will throw and attend numerous parties in the pretense of what protestants believe to be the most sacred and joyful time in the Christian Church.

Thesis – December 25th, known as Christmas Day, is believed to be Jesus Christ’s birthday. Christmas is a day of celebration for Jesus Christ. See, while the exact date of Christ’s birth isn’t revealed in the Bible, God loved us so much that He gave His One and Only Son to us. Therefore, we celebrate! This is ‘THE’ Celebration of all celebrations.

Antithesis – Unfortunately saints, we have the wrong viewpoint regarding celebration on this day. Let me explain, we bring each other gifts on Christmas Day. I was told that it’s very rude and poor etiquette to attend a party and don’t bring the host or honoree of the party a gift. Our gift giving to each other isn’t wrong but to bring a gift to one another and never to the One whom we are to be celebrating is certainly wrong. When we study the bible we see that on this day gifts were given at ‘THE’ Birthday Celebration.

Relevant Question – What gifts do we bring to ‘THE’ celebration for the one we are to be celebrating?

Listen, listen saints, this birthday celebration is special and we should feel privileged to receive an invitation to attend. Therefore, it’s extremely important that we bring the right gifts to the honoree. This honoree, as Isaiah recorded, “enlarged the nation and increased their joy.” When darkness surrounded and all hope was gone, this honoree birth light into your life and showed you that there is always hope. So, we’re not gonna give just anything to the honoree. People of God listen, we can’t go into our closets and re-gift: A candle for He is the ‘light of the world.’

We can’t re-gift: A journal for He already wrote the book

We can’t re-gift: A key chain for He holds the master key to everything

We can’t re-gift: A cruise or vacation because He’s already been to heaven and earth

Oh no, He definitely deserves something better. But what!

Now, I understand that everything belongs to the honoree anyway. So, practically there is nothing that we can give to Jesus that He doesn’t already have “for the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness therein.” However, the Bible does show where we’re to bring forth our gifts to the “THE’ Birthday Celebration.’

We’re not just attending any celebration but rather we are attending ‘THE’ Birthday Celebration. It’s not just any party.

• We’re not just succumbing to the ritualistic, traditional pattern of attending when in actuality we really don’t want to be there.

• This celebration isn’t for any man present or ever present, oh no!

• This birthday celebration isn’t for those who think they are kings, oh no.

• This birthday celebration isn’t for those who believe because of their wealth or status, they warrant a celebration, oh no!

• While thankful, this celebration isn’t because we lived another year for this celebration isn’t about us. Oh no, it’s about HIM! This is “THE Celebration!”

Now according to the Gospel of Luke, in Nazareth the shepherds were tending flock and the angels appeared to the shepherds and told them about Jesus’ birth (read Luke 2:1-20). Upon hearing such news, IMMEDIATELY the shepherds stopped all they were doing and proceeded to Nazareth. Nazareth wasn’t far from Bethlehem so by nightfall, the shepherds laid their eyes upon the miraculous wonder from God and gifted Jesus. There gifts weren’t tangible gifts but they did present gifts at “’THE’ Celebration.” They dare not presented themselves without honoring the honoree. Their gifting at this glorious birthday celebration was:

• Recognition and Belief in Truth – Upon hearing the angels’ message, the “…shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

• Acknowledging God first – “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”

• Proclaiming the Gospel – “When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.”

• Worship – “They returned, glorifying, and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

These shepherds excited upon what they witnessed! It wasn’t just another celebration. No! No! It was “’THE’ Birthday Celebration.” On day of Jesus’ birth, they witnessed the Word of God, the Coming Messiah coming to view. They witnessed God’s plan of action strategically at work. They saw in plain sight what the prophets of old recorded in Isaiah 9:3,

“3You repopulated the nation, You expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in Your presence!

Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.”

“With great celebration” they returned, presumably to their homeland, Bethlehem, shouting and praising God for the world’s Savior, the Messiah Jesus Christ had arrived.

Listen! Listen Church! It wasn’t just another birthday celebration but rather it was a “Great Celebration – ‘THE’ Birthday Celebration” for it was one that they would never have the liberty to experience again. Now wouldn’t you like to be a guest at this celebration? But before I tell you how to receive an invitation, let’s gaze at some other guests in attendance.

Not only did the shepherds attend “’THE’ Birthday Celebration” but also the wise men who also brought gifts to the honoree. The celebration Church didn’t stop on the actual day of Baby Jesus’ birth. It was a continuous celebration. See According to Matthew 2:9-11, the wise men additionally blessed the Child Jesus!

“9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On 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, frankincense and myrrh.”

Unlike some believe, the wise men weren’t present at Christ Jesus’ birth. Let me see if I can enlighten you on this. Upon speaking with the wise men, King Herod ordered that all children age two and under be killed. So this means that Jesus was no longer a baby but now a toddler presumably at least 2 years of age. Therefore, the wise men arrival wasn’t to a baby in a manger but now to Jesus’ house. Verse 11 states, “On coming to the house…” not the manger.

So why make mention of them here? We need to understand that the wise men presence ‘then’ reveals our accessibility to God ‘now’.

• “’THE’ Celebration” isn’t over “for everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

No the wise men didn’t witness the baby Jesus’ birth but sometime later they did lay eyes upon toddler Jesus. Church, “’THE’ Celebration didn’t stop with the shepherds as it didn’t stop with the wise men. It continued on and they (the wise men) brought gifts to the Child Jesus. Why? They too believed the spreading of the gospel that this toddler Jesus was the Messiah. Thus they honored (worshiped and bowed down) Him and His presence to the world in bringing gifts! They brought not just any kind of gift but rather they brought valuable gifts that were fit for a King. They gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have you ever pondered on why these gifts, why were they given? They were given because:

• Gold is a precious metal and as such was a very valuable commodity. The Ark of the Covenant was overlaid in gold. Gold is a symbol of divinity; therefore, the giving of gold to Baby Jesus was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh

• Frankincense is a white resin or gum from a tree that gave a sweet fragrant aroma when burned. The temple priest used it as a burnt offering to God (Exodus 30:34). Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. Gifting frankincense to Baby Jesus was symbolic of His willingness to become a substitutional, sacrificial burnt offering to God on man’s behalf.

• Myrrh (sometimes referred to as gall) had numerous uses. It was to make holy oil which was used to anoint the priest in their ordination, as well as in the consecration of the articles in the tabernacle. Myrrh was also used to embalm the dead. Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction. Therefore, the giving of myrrh to Baby Jesus indicated His humanity and foreshadowed His suffering and death as Savior of the world.

“’THE’ Celebration” is continuous. How do I know, I know because the scriptures declare so.

• “’THE’ Celebration” isn’t over for “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

• “’THE’ Celebration” isn’t over “so Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him” (Philippians 4:4 - MSG) for everyday is a day of thanksgiving.

• “’THE’ Celebration” isn’t over so “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

I ask again. What gifts are we willing to bring to the King of kings and the Lord of lords? Regardless to what day you decide to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we should always come with a gift for He is the One who conquered the cross, death, the grave, and hell. And because “’THE’ Celebration” is about HIM, saints there are particular gifts that we should render unto the Birthday Honoree. These gifts are to be given not just on 12-25 but every, single day. For example

We Should Gift Christ With:

Our commitment unto Him – allow Him to always have 1st place in your life. If anyone or anything takes precedent over loving and serving Jesus, then we’re practicing idol worship. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Seek Him as Lord of our finances, interests, relationships, and schedule— and even in our trials and tribulations. “Commit your way to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5); “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hands” (1 Peter 5:6).

Our trust – We choose to trust Jesus for Christ doesn’t have your trust unless you give it to him. “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not to thy own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5); “Trust in Him and He will do good” (Psalm 37:5).

Our obedience - Choose to spend some quiet time, time of meditation and prayer with Him. Often we hear not from God because we’re too busy. Thus a prayer life is our best method of communing with God, our vehicle of daily dialog. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Our praise and worship “Bring a sacrifice of praise unto Him” (Hebrews 13:11). To make a sacrifice means one has to kill or slaughter something: our pride, fear, or whatever places a threat of interfering our god-created purpose of existence. True praise, god-centered doesn’t succumb to interruption of misconceptions. So our praise and worship to God thus becomes a sweet aroma unto Him. Escape who’s watching and focus on who’s honoring the praise.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they were created

and have” (Revelations 4:11).

The author of ‘Purpose Drive Life’ Tommy Teney states two additional gifts to give at “’THE’ Birthday Celebration:

Our heart ¬- See our heart is what you love, what you value, and what you care about most. Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34 NIV). One important way you give Jesus your heart this Christmas is by giving your resources to his work. Jesus doesn’t need your money, but he wants what it represents — your heart.

Bring other people to “’THE’ Birthday Celebration” - God wants a family more than anything else this Christmas. He wants children who choose to love and trust him. It is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Invite someone to Jesus this Christmas. Tell someone about what Jesus has done in your life.

What is a celebration without singing? Upon Christ’s birth, the angels sang out to Him. Today is “’THE’ Birthday Celebration.” Why not open your treasurers present Him with your gifts as foretold by the prophets, revealed by the shepherd and wise men and today known throughout the globe as:

THE Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father

Prince of Peace