The title of today’s message echoes a question asked by many who celebrate Christmas, both believers and non-believers alike. How would you respond to this question? Or how did you respond?
Would Christmas still have come for you if it came looking like what those Whos down in Whoville woke to on one decidedly unusual Christmas morning? As the Grinch who attempted to steal their Christmas described it:
It came without ribbons!
It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes and bags!!!!!
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. Giving and getting gifts at Christmas is not a bad thing; it is a good thing. We give gifts to commemorate the indescribable gift that God gave the world in His Son.
But good things become bad things when they become ultimate things. When Christmas becomes all about what we get, rather than the One who has given us everything, we miss the real reason for the season: the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to the words of the Narrator in the story of the Grinch:
He puzzled and puzzed, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more.”
Well, we know Christmas means notjust a little bit more; it means a whole lot more. In fact, it means EVERYTHING! Christmas is God’s promise fulfilled. God promised to send His Son to pay the price for our sin (Genesis 3:15), and He kept that promise when the Light of this world was born as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger . . . because there was no room for Him in the Inn.
The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
The next time someone asks you “What did you get?” tell them you got IMMANUEL, God with us. Immanuel is with you . . .
In your joy and in your sorrow
In your sunshine and in your rain
In your plenty and in your want
In your health and in your sickness
In your victory and in your defeat
In your life and in your death
He is with you now and forevermore, and one day you will be in glory with Him . . . and that beloved, means EVERYTHING!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!