Part of the Miscellaneous series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
This morning we gathered together for a special Christmas Eve service as we celebrated the birth of our Savior.
It's an exciting couple of days, but especially for the kids. Maybe they've had their eyes on the gifts under the tree already. Or maybe they're excited for Christmas morning to see what Santa has left for them.
Think back over your own Christmases past; what is the greatest gift you ever received? Was it a special family heirloom that was passed down to you? Maybe it was that shiny new bicycle you'd hoped for all year long. Or maybe a special hand-made gift from your children or grandchildren? We all have that special, memorable gift that we remember.
But The Greatest Gift Ever Given wasn't any of those things. Instead, it was the gift of Love, wrapped in the body of a baby, given to all of us by a Holy God, placed in a dirty, stinky barn in the middle of nowhere 2,000 years ago...
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23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (KJV)