Fellow Worshippers of God’s Perfect Christmas Gift—
The cover of a recent Sunday newsmagazine said, “There’s still time to find the perfect present for Christmas.” And then it was said, “Check inside for last minute gifts.”
The word “perfect” has lately become a favorite adjective of many people. At home I heard one of my wife’s sewing customers exclaim “Perfect!” as she checked the placement of the applique on her son’s jacket. I wonder how often the word “Perfect!” will be spoken this Christmas about a gift received, though before long the wheels come off or the threads fray. Whatever the problem, the supposedly perfect gift was flawed.
As you children are going to tell us again tonight, the Baby Jesus is the perfect Christmas Gift for every sinful human being, including you and me. Let us consider the design, the advertising, and the sending or shipping of this Gift.
Newborn babies are often described with words like cute, sweet, precious, or even “gifts of God.” But we know we can’t use the word “perfect” for them since they have inherited their parents’ sinful nature. How different was the eternal Son of God, who took upon Himself sin-less human flesh when He was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus is the flawless-without-defect-complete-in-all-respects God-Man who came to bear the sins of the whole world—all your sins and all my sins.
No false or misleading advertising here! Again, as you children are going to tell us, all the prophecies in the scrolls of the Old Testament (300+ of them) came true exactly as “advertised.” The Messiah, Jesus, came into our sin-filled, sin-perishing world to give His life as a ransom for all our sins. And every single one of those advertised prophecies pointing to Jesus was fulfilled to perfection. As the title for our Christmas Eve service puts it: God’s Promises Kept—“Perfect!”
Every Christmas some gifts are lost or damaged. I mean, they can get broken or lost in the mail or by the shipping company. But there was no such problem in the “sending” of God’s perfect Christmas Gift, His Son our Savior! As you children are going to report, when God’s own appointed time came, He “sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4). Yes, that best of all God’s gifts arrived just as promised, at just the right time, and with no damage. Jesus was born perfect!
One of the last minute “perfect” gifts mentioned in the newspaper magazine was a personalized doormat. The sales pitch was that “nothing says thoughtful like a gift that has the recipient’s name or initials on it.” Well, a personalized doormat that we wipe our feet on wouldn’t last very long, would it? How different was God’s perfect Gift in the Manger. That Gift, which never wears out, has been personalized for each one of us, as the angel told the shepherds, “Unto YOU [you and I can put our name there!] is born this day, in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord….”
God’s Christmas Gift is indeed “Perfect!” May we all believe in, confess, and share with all people the Good News of this perfect spiritual Christmas gift which has the name of each one of us on it—Jesus, the Savior of sinners! Amen.