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Gift Exchange

Did you hear about the farmer that decided to buy a chain saw? A logging foreman sold him one that he guaranteed would cut down 15 trees in a single day. A week later, a very unhappy farmer came back to report that the power saw must be faulty – it averaged only 3 trees a day. The foreman grabbed the saw, pulled the cord, and the saw promptly went “Bzzzzzzzz.” “Hey” demanded the startled farmer, “what’s that noise?”

It is obvious that the farmer in this story missed the point when it came to his chain saw, in the same way many in the world miss the point of Christmas. We can get so focused on the things that we are doing, or need to do that we completely forget why we are doing them. In today’s message, I would like to talk specifically to the church, the body of believers in Christ, and forewarn each of us not to miss the point this season or any season when it comes to what we are celebrating. Now, I understand many of you know that Christmas is about the birth of our savior Jesus Christ, as I am sure many of you don’t miss a service or at least not the Christmas Eve Service. I’m sure many of you sing the Christmas worship songs, and for most of you, read the story of our savior on Christmas day to your family. While all of that is wonderful, what you do isn’t really what I am talking about when I say many of us miss the point of Christmas. What I’m talking about is kind of like a story I heard growing up about one of the greatest catchers to ever live and one of the greatest hitters to ever live.

 This a story involving Yogi Berra, the well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playing in the World Series, and as usual Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless chatter, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to distract him by saying, “Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark.” Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and tagging up at home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, “I didn’t come up here to read.” 

 Hank Aaron didn’t go to the World Series to read, and Jesus didn’t come to world to give you more worry, more stress, and more pain. The Christmas season is all about what comes in the gift of Jesus Christ, the gift of peace, joy, love, and grace. While many people know about the gift, very few have actually opened what is offered in it. God didn’t just send his son for you to know about him, he sent him for you to know personally and to experience his gift in your everyday life. In order for you to truly not miss what Christmas is about, you must fully unwrap what a relationship in Jesus Christ is and embrace the greatest gift exchange that man has ever seen. The gift exchange of sin for grace, of worry for peace, of pain for comfort, and this exchange is for all.

I would like to invite you to join us at FCC in London, Kentucky as we’re starting a new, three-part message series today called The Gift Exchange. It’s all about the exchanges that take place in our relationship with God. In particular…

• Week One – Give God your worry and he’ll give you peace.

• Week Two – Give God your hurts and he’ll give you healing.

• Week Three – Give God your grief and he’ll give you joy.

If you are not able to attend our service with us, we would love for you to join us live on our Facebook page,  or you can watch our sermon series at your own convenience located on Sermons on our website. Don’t miss the point of the Christmas Season and don’t miss what Jesus offers each of us in a relationship with him. Stop worrying about the things you don’t control (Matthew 6:25-34) and accept the peace that comes through Jesus. Stop holding on to your problems and give them the Father who gives you comfort. Stop living in grief and accept the joy that comes in Jesus Christ. God offers so much than that and its time that each of us fully embrace those wonderful gifts in our lives.

By: Jonathan Carmack