Summary: This Christmas unwrap the gift that Jesus brings into your heart and life.
Unwrap the Gift of Christmas
December 24, 2004
Luke 2:10-12 (New International Version)
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
INTRODUCTION: One Word.
You all look so nice this evening, I just have to take a picture. (Hold up stapler). Please scoot closer together, and smile. (Push stapler)
Have you seen that commercial for Staples where Grandma takes a picture of the family with a stapler?
First couple times I saw the commercial I thought grandma had drank too much eggnog or something. Then I watched the look on grandma’s face, and realized she was giving hints to the family for Christmas of what gift she wanted.
Since the Christmas season began, one word has fallen from our lips more than any other. Maybe you haven’t stopped to think about which word that was. I don’t think it’s the word joy or carol or tree or food. I think it’s the word gift. If you listen in on conversations in shopping malls and on parking lots, you will hear the word mentioned several times in one conversation. Let’s face it, we have lists of gifts we hope to buy. Some of us have lists of gifts we hope to receive.
This evening we celebrate God’s gift of His Son born in a manger. And here’s what is so shocking, not only did God send His Son to be born here in a manger. God sent His Son knowing that he would go here to a cross. Gifts cost. The advantage of waiting until the last day to shop for Christmas presents is your Visa bill does not come until after Christmas. Tonight as we celebrate God sending His Son into the world, let us Unwrap the Gift Jesus Brings (3 Boxes up front with objects included)
GIFT 1. Unwrap the gift of PURPOSE. I (Open the box inside is the video), “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” He’s the one who had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.” Ever had friends like that? They find the flaw in your life, and just pick at it?
Yet God is in the business of transforming life’s flaws to fulfill life’s purpose. One foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, “Rudolph with your nosed so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight? Then all the other reindeer loved him.” They didn’t before, but when Rudolph’s purpose was unwrapped, they shouted out with glee.
That first Christmas, an angel comes to shepherds and says in Luke 2:10, The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy.” -- (GW)
Shepherds at this point in history are in the all the other reindeer used to laugh and call them names category. Today we love shepherds, but not in that day. Their testimony was not admissible in court. They weren’t trusted. You wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one or your son to become one. All the other people used to laugh and call them names. Yet it is to shepherds working the night shift that the angel shares the message, a message that offers everyone joy for a Savior has been born. What the world despised, God utilized to fulfill His purpose and to fulfill their purpose.
We do not always know why events happen. Why we followed path A instead of path B. Why did we zig instead of zag. Or like Forest Gump’s momma said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.” Anybody know the secret code for a box of See’s candy? I can figure out the ones with the nuts and the nougat, but crème fillings are always a mystery to me. Now if I made the chocolates and placed them in the box, then I might know the answer. That’s why God can give the gift of purpose. He made us. He placed us in this world. He knows what the future holds, and He knows what our lives are becoming. Paul tells us in Colossians 1:15-16, 15We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. 16For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. -- (Msg)