Summary: A short message and Lord’s Supper observance for Christmas Morning services.
WHAT DID YOU GET FOR CHRISTMAS?
By Pastor Jim May
It’s Christmas Day, 2005. One more Christmas Eve has passed. Once more the gifts that have been laid under the tree are already opened or will be very shortly. Did you get what you wanted? Did you get what you needed? Did you get what you asked for? Was there a gift that was missing?
Now that most of the giving and receiving of gifts has passed and we can settle down to enjoying the company of family and friends, and especially enjoying those deep fried turkeys, candied yams, potato salad, apple pie and all the other trimmings of a Christmas feast, maybe now we stop to reflect upon what gift was missing in all the hubbub.
Fireworks lit up the night sky as people celebrated and in the spirit of the holidays many people rushed around trying to make time for just one more little get together and one more little “cup of cheer” before the night was done. I call it the “holiday spirit” because it certainly isn’t the true “Spirit of Christmas”. Jesus was nowhere in it.
Finally, when they could go no more, and the kids that were hyped in anticipation began to wear down, it was time to go home and settle down for a good night’s sleep. (Unless they were up all night working the assembly line) Exhausted, they finally crashed into bed, closed their eyes, took a deep breath and tried to remember, “What have I left out? Is there something I forgot? Is there someone I failed to think about? I certainly don’t want to offend anyone. They will never forgive me and I’ll never hear the end of it.”
What gift could they have possibly missed? I know how it is. Some of you spent more than you had planned to, and more than you could really afford to, but there always seems to be just one more person that you needed to add to your list. There’s just one more thing that you forgot to pick up. Some of the famous last words at Christmas are, “just one more little item and I’ll be done.” It’s always those last little items that wind up breaking the bank account and sending the credit card balance to its limits.
But with all of the money that’s been spent trying to show how much we love and care for those around us, and with all the presents that have wrapped and unwrapped, there is no doubt in my mind this morning that most of the world has left out a few very important gifts.
First there is a gift that has been given, but was never accepted. Secondly, there is a gift that should have been given, but wasn’t!
What is that gift that was not accepted?
Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
I’m so glad that we are Christians this morning. I’m so glad that Christmas means more to us than just tinsel, garland, gifts and parties.
Christmas exists because in time eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, there was one pinpoint of time upon which God focused all of His love. Jesus lives in eternity, without time limitations and restrictions. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end. Yet He chose to step into time for one brief moment of eternity, because He loved you and I so much. God could have just let us go. He could have said, “they chose to rebel, I don’t need them, just forget the whole thing.” But because of His great love, His mercy and His grace, God chose not to forget man whom He had created.
Galatians 4:4-5, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
The Greatest Gift that mankind could ever receive is the Gift of redemption from sin, purchased by the blood of God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet, that is the one gift that most of the world will not accept.
As far as what they gift that most people have failed to give, let me say it this way. In all of their worry and concern about offending someone by not giving them a gift or sending them a Christmas Card, it is amazing that very few people consider that they failed to give the most important gift of all – the gift of their heart to Jesus!
Jesus wants a gift from each of us this morning.