The Gift Was Wrapped Just Right!

 

December 23, 2023

Pastor Joe Elick 1940-2021

I don't know about the rest of you men, but as for me, even after I've finished my Christmas shopping, the gift job is still only half done. I've still got the wrapping to do. This is where my major frustration starts: When I sit down at my desk, or at a table with several rolls of Christmas paper, a pair of scissors, a package of bows, and some scotch tape, I want things to come out just right. I have this mental picture of those receiving gifts from me being so overwhelmed by the wrapping job that they almost forget to open their present. That's what I envision, but that's not what I get! As soon as I take up the scissors , Murphy's Law takes over. You know Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong!" Now being insecure by nature, I usually cut the paper too long so that by the time I get it taped to the present, it looks like I left a baloney sandwich under the wrapping on each end. It NEVER comes out "just right" like I wanted it to.

Fortunately the same thing is not true with God. When he wraps a "Gift" it comes out "just right" the way he planned it. And that's what I want us to think about this morning. That...God's gift to the world, His Son, came "gift wrapped" just right.

"Christmas begins in the Old Testament" and we examined a text in the book of Isaiah which was a prophecy concerning Jesus' coming into the world: Isaiah 9:6, "for to us a child is born, to us a son is given..." as we open our Bibles, we are looking at the fulfillment of that prophecy 700 years after it was given. Luke 1:35: says about what the angel said to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God."

It is a controversial statement of the highest degree. Perhaps this is why God chose Luke, a Medical Doctor, to be one of the Biblical witnesses to speak of it. What Luke 1:35 is saying is that Jesus was virgin born. That he had no earthly father. He was conceived in woman, but not by man. Let us never get so used to hearing this marvelous, supernatural account of Jesus' conception, that we cease to Wonder and to Worship. Jesus' birth was a holy miracle; unexplainable and totally unreasonable to the rational mind. His birth is a mystery that invites our acceptance but defies our understanding.

God's timetable: Repeatedly in the Bible we see that God works from a detailed plan which unfolds according to a timetable set before the world began. Galatians 4:4 says "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman..."

If someone is late for dinner, they feel that they need to apologize. God makes no apologies for his "timetable". He makes no apologies for his "person-table." "Now is the time...go to the earth NOW Gabriel, and bring the announcement to the young peasant girl Mary". Mary was a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David." (Also prophesied several places in the Old Testament) One instance is from Jeremiah 23:5-6, where we know He is from the line of King David: "The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land ... This is the name by which he will be called: the Lord our righteous savior."

God wrapped His "Special Gift" to the world in human flesh. It's the way he wanted it. It was the way it needed to be. Jesus was the "God-Man": "So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35b)

Until Next Time,

Merry Christmas everyone

Pastor Joe Elick

1940-2021

 

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