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Summary: Christmas Message.. Unpredictable package!

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Your Un-Opened Gift

(John 1:43-51 and Romans 6:23-24)

A chauffeur had driven the chemistry professor to dozens of speaking engagements. He’d heard the same canned speech scores of times.

He said on the way to another engagement, "Professor, I believe I could give your speech myself; I’ve heard it so often." The professor said, "I’ll bet you $50 you can’t." "You’re on," said the chauffeur.

He stopped the car and the two exchanged attire. They came to the banquet. the chauffeur dressed in a tuxedo, sat at the head of the table and was introduced. he stood up and gave the speech verbatim.

There was a standing ovation when he was finished.

The emcee got up and said, "You know, we are so fortunate to have such a fine resource with us tonight, and since we have a little extra time, let’s have some questions and answers. The first question was asked and the chauffeur stood there dumbfounded, clearing his throat in nervousness. Finally he said, "That’s just about the dumbest question I ever heard. In fact it is so dumb I bet even my chauffeur could answer that question."

How many times have you heard the Christmas story? I’m sure many could come up here today, and tell the story.

You have rubbed up against the truth long enough, heard enough sermons prayed enough prayers, just enough rubbing to get a callous on your heart so the real truth cannot penetrate deep into your daily life.

The Christmas story is so familiar to some.

Mary’s unexpected pregnancy. Joseph’s perplexity. Visits by angels. Caesar’s tax. The trip to Bethlehem. Born in a stable.

We’ve heard it many times. Most of you can even answer the tough questions like , "Did the wise men really see Jesus in the manger? Did the star really appear over the stable? and just how many wise man were there? And that’s good. There is tremendous value in knowing the facts.

C.S. Lewis said, "we don’t need to be told new ideas so much as we need to be reminded of old truths.

But today I want to come to the Christmas story with fresh minds.

To see a surprising element to the true gift of Christmas

As a matter of fact, probably nothing that the average Jewish person thought would happen, actually did. There were many surprises in the Christmas story.

One reason we need to look at the story fresh is because familiarity often breeds contempt...

Now I’m not saying that we have contempt for Christ, but rather that we have heard the story so much, that we tend to think that it really no longer has anything to offer us.

We think we see the whole picture clearly, but many times we don’t..

Just like the little girl who came home from Sunday school triumphantly waving a paper. "Mommy!., my teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she has ever seen!"

The mother took the picture from her little girls hands -- she studied it for a moment and she too concluded that this was the most peculiar picture of Christmas she had ever seen.

"This is wonderfully drawn, but why do you have all of the people riding in the back of an airplane?" The mother gently asked.

"It’s the flight to Egypt," the little girl said, with a hint of disappointment because the picture’s meaning was not immediately obvious.

"Oh" the mother said cautiously "Well, who, is the mean-looking man at the front?" "That’s Pontius the Pilot," the girl said now visually impatient.

"I see"

And here you have Mary and Joseph and the baby" the mother volunteered. And studying the picture silently for a moment, she summoned the courage to ask, "But who is the fat man sitting behind Mary?"

The little girl sighed. "Can’t you tell? That’s Round John Virgin!"

That’s a cute story -- but the reason I tell it is because sometimes we are like that little girl...

We think we see things so clearly, we think we know all that there is to know about the Christmas story, gleaned all there is to glean, but perhaps we don’t see it as clearly as we think.

So today let’s look at this great moment in history again, because friends in this timeless message of Our Saviors Birth, God has laid out many surprises and He has laid out many gifts under our Christmas tree

But as we hear this story we often, assume we know what the gift of Christmas is.. yet we neglect to open it. Often we slide it beneath the tree of our busy lives and say. When we get old.. when we have time I will open the gift of God…

Or maybe it is not that we do not want to have the gift now. It is just that we do not expect it to be as great as they say it is. “ Life more abundantly, “please”, we say “we have more life than we can handle now...

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