White Elephant Gifts

2 Corinthians 9:15

“Thanks be to God for HIs indescribable gift!”

Pastor John Huffman once hosted a church staff Christmas luncheon at his home. It was a “white elephant” gift party.  The gifts were zany and meant to be fun.  Everybody was laughing and enjoying themselves until the tenth person or so picked out a gift.  Lifted out from a gift bag was a little baby Jesus in a manger. Everything just kind of stopped and everyone seemed puzzled.  Pastor John’s wife exclaimed:  “That looks like our Jesus!”  She left the room to check her nativity set, and sure enough, the baby Jesus figurine was missing. It had fallen off the table and into the gift bag on top of the tissue paper in which the real gift was wrapped.

      They all laughed and continued on with the party.  But later Pastor Huffman reflected on the mix up:  “So often Jesus is swept off center stage in all of our Christmas festivities, relegated to a kind of “white elephant” status. How sad, when he is so central!”

As we prepare for Christmas this year it is vital that we keep Jesus the central thing.  Do you remember the sermon the angel (played by Cary Grant) wrote in the Christmas movie classic, The Bishop’s Wife?  

You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. Its his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.”

Let’s thank God for Jesus the year!  And make Him the central thing!

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