Summary: A Christmas Eve Sermon
"The Best Gift"
Barbara Streisand has a Christmas song which speaks of a special gift, the best gift she received at Christmas.
I would like to share the words of that song with you, Listen carefully......
"The best gift that I’d ever got didn’t really weight a lot.
It didn’t have a ribbon round and it sometimes made a terrible sound.
The best of all it seems to me, it wasn’t neath the Christmas tree,
And yet I’d guess I’d have to say, that it made all the other presents twice as gay.
The best gift that I’ve ever known I’d always wanted most to own, yet in all my dreams of sugar and spice, I never thought it could be so nice.
The best gift that I ever got was sometimes dry and sometimes wet, was usually pink but oftentimes red as it lay so innocently in its bed.
The best gift of the year to me, the one I hold most dear to me.
The gift that simply drove me wild, was a tiny newborn child."
Yes, the best gift of the Christmas season isn’t under the tree, but it is the gift which God gave to us in that manger 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. The best gift to us this season does make all the other presents twice as gay. The best gift of this season is rich and happy full of hope and peace, full of mercy and love, a gift that is difficult for us to comprehend, but a gift of love that brings joy, peace, happiness, comfort, mercy and forgiveness into each of our hearts. The best gift is a new born child, the child born in that stable many years ago.
And in this season of Christmas, the baby Jesus is reborn again in our hearts. It is that birth, that baby coming into our lives which makes this season so special. The best gift of this season, the gift for which we gather this night, the gift which means more to us than all the other gifts under the tree, is the rebirth of baby Jesus into our hearts and souls. Jesus birth, the coming of the Messiah, the coming of God into our world, the plan of salvation which God begins this night, that is the most important gift for us. It should be the gift that does drive us wild with excitement, love and celebration, because no other gift. means so much to us than God’s son and the eternal life which he gives to all who who call and believe on his name.
Little baby Jesus, the messiah born in a manger, the savior born in your heart and mind, anew, fresh again this season that is the best gift, no other can match or equal it’s affect on our lives. What other gift can give confidence to your life in the midst of all the brokenness we face? What other gift can be a rock, a fortress, a foundation stone for life? What other gift can bring peace, comfort, mercy and forgiveness into a troubled soul? What other gift can let you die in the confidence that life continues, life goes on in a new home, a brighter home, a fairer home with the Father and the Son?
What other gift gives you the courage and strength to face disappointments, face troubles, face sorrow, face illness, face loneliness, face grief with the assurance that you are not alone, but your Lord and Savior is by your side? When you scrape away all the other stuff of life, money, food, clothing, wealth, prestige, fame, what do you have left, only this gift of a savior, this gift of the baby born in the manager,
And let us remember it is a gift. A gift, it is freely given by God for us to accept.
In a children’s sermon, a pastor illustrated the point Jesus as a gift in this way:
The pastor gave each child a dollar bill. "Why did I give it to you?" he asked. "Did you deserve it?"
"No." came the reply from the children.
"Did you earn it?" asked the pastor.
"No. " again was the children’s reply.
"I gave it to you because I love you, because I made up my mind to share my riches with you!"
And God’s love is like that. We don’t deserve it or earn it. God has simply made up his mind to love us. And nothing we can do can change him. God loves us, period.
This gift is no ordinary gift, it is the gift of life, the gift of salvation, the gift of righteousness in our lives. As the text from Titus says, "but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit." This gift, this best gift is God’s righteousness for us. It is God’s gift of salvation, God’s gift of eternal life, God’s gift of grace for you and me.