by Steve Wagers

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Jesus
Series: "Christmas through the Eyes of Matthew"
Pastor Steve Wagers
Matthew 2: 11

1. In 1247, a hospital was founded in England called St. Mary's of Bethlehem. Two centuries later it was converted into a hospital for the mentally insane. The patients were often chained, and abused; and, the institution became known throughout the country for its noise and confusion. The original name of Bethlehem was shortened to Bedlam, a word, in our language which denotes a place of uproar and confusion.

2. The same could be said, and used to describe Christmas in these days. It has ultimately become more Bedlam, than Bethlehem.

3. With all the activities, shopping, buying, parties, and everything else that is connected with Christmas, no doubt many feel like the mother described in Edna Bowman's parody of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas.'

4. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve dogs a leaping, Eleven cats a creeping, Ten fingers gripping, Nine toes a tripping Eight drinks a spilling Seven glasses filling Six friends and things Five telephone rings Four crayoned walls Three loud calls Two kisses free, And, one mother up a pear tree!

5. Sad to say, Bethlehem has become Bedlam simply because we've lost sight of the true meaning of the occasion. Christmas is more characterized by shopping than the Savior. More thought is given to the gifts for the family than the gift from God. More time is given to Celebration than it is to Adoration.

6. One of things that characterizes Christmas is the spirit of giving. For hundreds of years, dating back to Constatine, giving has been a part of Christmas.

7. As we look at the first Christmas, we also see the spirit of giving. In fact, we see the Ultimate Gift, and the Ultimate Giver. We see the Greatest Gift ever given.

8. Yet, through the ages we have found a place on our Christmas list for everyone else, except the One whom the blessed holiday is ...

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