Sermons

Summary: In this message we will look at many of the gifts that are ours because of the Christ child - gifts that many people never unwrap.

"UNWRAPPED PRESENTS"

TEXT: LUKE 2:8-14

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Christmas, but it is. Let me give a top 10 list about the closeness of Christmas...

YOU KNOW CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE WHEN:

10) There are more pine needles on your carpet than on your tree

9) The credit card is smoked along with the turkey and ham.

8) It’s A Wonderful Life has been shown for the 13th time

7) A trip to the mall and back is more challenging then the Indy 500

6) The Salvation Army bell ringers start accepting credit cards

5) You are pulling an all-nighter because of the words

"Some Assembly Required"

4) Your Christmas list is written in black while your check book balance is written in red.

3) Santa’s belly is not the only thing shaking like a bowl full of jelly.

2) The NFL referees are not the only ones giving away games

1) The infamous fruitcake returns from it’s 12 months of hiding.

ARE YOU ALL READY FOR CHRISTMAS? CHRISTMAS IS AN EXCITING TIME AND IT IS REALLY THE ONLY TIME OF THE YEAR WHEN PEOPLE AS A WHOLE THINK ABOUT GIVING... THE TRAFFIC AND THE CROWDS AT RETAIL STORES BACK THIS TRUTH UP.

I’D LIKE TO TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT A MAN NAMED BILL.

BILL REALLY LOVES CHRISTMAS -- HE LOVED CHRISTMAS AS A CHILD WHEN HE WOULD WAKE HIS PARENTS UP AT THE CRACK OF DAWN TO OPEN HIS PRESENTS.... AND BILL LOVES CHRISTMAS TODAY AS AN ADULT... AS A MATER OF FACT BILL PROBABLY LOVES CHRISTMAS MORE TODAY, BECAUSE BILL JUST LOVES TO GIVE PRESENTS TO HIS CHILDREN.

AND HE HAS A REAL KNACK FOR KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT EACH OF HIS 5 CHILDREN WANT AND NEED. BILL SPENDS THE ENTIRE YEAR SHOPPING, BUYING, HIDING AND WRAPPING PRESENTS. (NOW STAY WITH ME LADIES, EVEN THOUGH THAT IS PROBABLY NOT WHAT HAPPENS AT YOUR HOUSE... WHAT DAD HASN’T SAID, "O’ IS THAT WHAT WE GOT THEM?") BUT BILL IS DIFFERENT HE DOES THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING... HE LOVES IT; AND HE IS CERTAIN THAT WHAT HE HAS PURCHASED WILL BRING HIS CHILDREN GREAT JOY....

AND WHEN CHRISTMAS EVE COMES AND THE LITTLE ONES ARE ALL NESTLED IN BED (VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMBS...) BILL GRABS ALL THE PRESENTS OUT OF HIDING AND VERY NEATLY PLACES THEM UNDER THE TREE.... AND WITH A WAVE OF EXCITEMENT BILL GOES TO BED... AND AS DOSES OFF TO SLEEP HE FEELS GOOD, HE IS CONVINCED THAT ALL THE EFFORT AND THE SACRIFICE WILL BE WORTH IT TOMORROW; BECAUSE BILL KNOWS HE HAS BOUGHT HIS CHILDREN GIFTS THAT WILL BRING THEM HAPPINESS AND JOY...GIFTS THEY NEED

AND FINALLY THE SUN RISES AND IT IS CHRISTMAS MORNING... HIS CHILDREN GET UP, HUG HIM AND WISH HIM A MERRY CHRISTMAS... THERE IS FRESH FALLEN SNOW ON THE GROUND AND ON THE BARE BRANCHES OF THE TREE IN THE FRONT YARD; A WARM GLOWING FIRE IS CRACKLING IN THE ROOM AND THERE’S CUPS OF HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MARSH MELLOWS FOR EVERYONE....

IT LOOKS JUST LIKE A NORMAN ROCKWELL PAINTING; I MEAN THIS CHRISTMAS MORNING WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT EXCEPT FOR JUST ONE THING.... BILL’S CHILDREN SIMPLY REFUSE TO OPEN THEIR PRESENTS... (ANY OF YOU EVER HAVE THAT PROBLEM?)

HIS CHILDREN SIMPLY WALK UP, TAKE A HOLD OF THEIR PRESENTS -- THEY SAY "NICE BOX DAD, SURE PRETTY WRAPPING THIS YEAR.." -- BUT THEY NEVER UNWRAP THEM.

AND AS THE SCENE FADES YOU SEE BILL WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES AND A KNIFE IN HIS HEART AS HIS CHILDREN WALK AWAY LEAVING THEIR UNWRAPPED PRESENTS SITTING UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE....

NOW, "BILL" IS JUST A FACTIOUS FATHER, ONE THAT I MADE UP....

BUT THERE IS FATHER THAT I KNOW OF, HE IS A HEAVENLY FATHER; HE IS A FATHER WHO HAS SACRIFICED GREATLY FOR ALL OF HIS CHILDREN IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THEM WITH A GIFT THAT HE KNOWS THAT THEY REALLY NEED.... A GIFT, THAT LIKE A DIAMOND SPARKLING IN THE SUN HAS MANY FACETS...

BUT TRAGICALLY LIKE BILL -- OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WATCHES WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES AND A KNIFE IN HIS HEART; AS HIS CHILDREN SAY "NICE BOX, PRETTY PAPER", BUT THEY NEVER UNWRAP THE PRESENTS HE HAS BOUGHT FOR THEM THROUGH HIS SON...

WHY WON’T THEY UNWRAP THEM?

WHY DO SO MANY,

FOR SO MANY YEARS,

LEAVE THEIR GIFTS FROM GOD UNWRAPPED LYING UNDER THE TREE...?

THE ONLY REASON I CAN SEE FOR THIS HAPPENING IS

BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW HIM?

LET ME TRY TO EXPLAIN... WITH AN ILLUSTRATION

SUPPOSE YOU HAVE 2 AUNTS THAT LIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY -- THEY USUALLY NEVER VISIT FOR THE HOLIDAYS, BUT THEY ALWAYS SEND GIFTS...

NOW AUNT SALLY IS A GREAT GIFT GIVER, SHE SEEMS TO ALWAYS KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO GIVE YOU.... AND SHE PUTS A LOT OF THOUGHT AND EFFORT INTO HER GIFT GIVING.. THROUGH OUT THE YEAR SHE CALLS AND WRITES TO YOU; AND EACH YEAR NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU GET -- SHE ALWAYS GIVES THE GIFT YOU WANT...

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