Each year we get together some friends for a Christmas party. Amongst the frivolity of the evening is a gift exchange. Everyone is tasked to bring a gift and put it under the tree. Then we all draw a number and proceed based on the number drawn to pick out a gift. Two things about the process. After the first person opens a gift the next person up has the opportunity to pick out a gift or steal a gift that has already been opened by someone. The second is this is a white elephant gift exchange. If you don’t know what that means it means that the gifts, shall we say, may not always be a gift anyone would want. It may be something you find laying around the house.
For example, for as many years as we’ve been attending a back massager that resembles cow udders has been making the rounds. One thing I have noticed. Of all the gifts that have been stolen over the years no one has ever stolen the cow udder massager. If that was the package you unknowingly picked, it was going home with you. Even if someone else got a crummy gift they weren’t stealing it. So for the next year you were tasked to keep it safe and sound until the next party, at which time you could unload it on some poor fool. On the bright side you don’t have to worry about what you are going to bring the next year.
Christmas, is about giving and it is about the Gift. If you think about, it is a gift exchange. It is about a beautiful Savior leaving the perfection of heaven on His way to swap Himself for the cow udder massager that is our sin. He exchanges our sin for His righteousness. In 2 Corinthians 5:21. Paul writes, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” He gives us all of himself; eternal life, a new heart, peace with God, the Holy Spirit, unconditional love, joy beyond all comprehension, and adoption in the family among a long list of other things. In return we give Him our guilt, our past sins, our fears, our pain, our bitterness, our addictions, and a myriad of other things.
Who does that! Who willingly and knowingly takes the cow udder massager that is our sin and gives us the best gift under the tree? “For God so loved the world He sent His Son . . .”
Among all the gifts given, received, and exchanged cherish the one who exchanged the worst of us for the best of Him.
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Rob Jeffrey, Pastor - Bradford Alliance Church