Summary: YOUR Savior...YOUR King...YOUR Christ...YOUR gift. A short Christmas Eve devotion about the personal nature of God’s Christmas gift.
CHRISTMAS EVE 1999
The greeting on one certain Christmas card goes like this:
“Christmas is just plain weird. What other time of year do you sit around staring at a dead tree in your living room and eat candy out of your socks.”
There are some things about Christmas that are pretty weird. A virgin teen becoming pregnant, a baby who would save the world from its sins, a God who wanted to become a human being. That’s some pretty weird stuff. But to us, the supernatural will always seem odd. As one person has said, “If miracles happened all the time, we would have called them ordinaries.
Talk about something weird. Something odd. Something out of the ordinary. Imagine you are a honest, hard-working sheep tender. Enjoying a calm evening on the hills outside the city of Bethlehem. The Bible tells it better than I can…
READ LUKE 1:8-15
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, 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.”
Look what the angels tell them:
“I bring YOU good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
“Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to YOU”
“This will be a sign to YOU. YOU will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The angel’s message to the shepherds was that this baby is YOUR Savior, YOUR King, YOUR Christ, YOUR gift – straight from God. Just for you.
God wanted them to see the incredibly personal nature of this Christmas gift. And he wants us to see it too. These shepherds weren’t people out of the ordinary. Their holiness hadn’t earned them this special privilege of being the first to hear the news. They were just people – and God wants people to know how personal this gift really is.
On our presents, we put little tags. To Kim from Matthew. To Mom and Dad from Kim and Matthew. That way when we pass out the presents it’s easy to see who a gift is from.
Had Jesus worn a tag, the tag would have read To: Matthew From: God. In the manger as a baby – To: (Insert people’s names from the audience), From: God.
As a man, teaching the way to God, healing the sick, forgiving the wayward, touching the heartbroken – To: (Insert more people’s names from the audience), From: God.
And on the cross – bearing the weight of humanity’s sin – To: (Still more names), From: God.
Jesus is a gift to you – from God.
God’s very special and personal gift of grace, forgiveness, healing, peace, hope, direction, promise, eternity – to you.
In the movie “Splash,” Tom Hanks meets a beautiful mermaid played by Darryl Hannah. She doesn’t know much about life above water, but tries to live in New York City for a few days. Tom Hanks buys her a present, wrapped up in a box with ribbon around it and a bow on top. She looks at it and says, “Thanks! It’s beautiful! I love it!” Then she sets it aside and gives him a hug. He says, “It’s gift. You have to open it.”
Jesus came as a baby that was wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. God’s gift to you. But unless you accept him and let him live in your heart, as your Savior and your King and your Lord – the gift really has no value to you. Jesus is God’s gift. Open your life – let him come out of the manger, out of the pictures, out of the pages of the Bible, and become real. Born in you.
Some pretty weird stuff. A world without Jesus would be a lot more weird than a world with Him. I need God’s gift. I’m hoping that before tonight is over you can say the same.