Thanksgiving for Christ- the Indescribable Gift
“Thanksgiving for Christ” 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” There are two kinds of indescribable gifts. Perhaps you have had that gift from your aunt that you have never seen before- some kind of kitchen gadget or tool you’ve never heard of and you literally don’t know what it is. You want to thank them but not really. That is the bad kind of indescribable gift. The good kind of indescribable gift is when it takes your breath away. The gift of Jesus is the best gift of any Christmas. It cannot be weighed against any amount of gold, silver, lands, houses. The person of Jesus is greater than any king, queen, philosopher. The person of Christ is more important and valuable than winning the greatest political election, or the greatest sporting event. God has come to earth- how do you possibly measure that? Would you try? If you don’t believe God has come in Jesus- can you measure the influence for good Jesus has had in stopping infanticide, widow burning in India, cannibalism in the South Atlantic, turning millions away from stinginess to generosity and from selfishness to gratitude. Before Black Friday or Cyber Monday began God has given you a gift- it is an indescribable gift. It is indescribable not in that you cannot wrap it, or fold it, or fit it under the tree- it is too big for that. I keep remembering the Polar Express movie where Santa takes a reindeer bell and gives it to the boy and says, “The First Gift of Christmas.” But the first gift of Christmas- that still gives that still is so very, very important- the indescribably Christmas gift is Christ. It is this gift that makes advent important. Apart from Christ we can do nothing. What do we mean when we say that?
I. THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT IS BEYOND WORDS- It leaves us speechless. It takes our breath away. Part of having faith is recognizing the value of the gift before us. Many people can go into a jewelry store and I do not perceive what is a diamond and what is a glass crystal. There are people who can look at a beautiful diamond and it will stop them in their tracks and make their heart skip a beat. There are others who yawn in the presence of the 530 carat Great Star of Africa. You have to have the heart to appreciate it. Jonathan Edwards once spoke about this ability to value Christ as the greatest value of all. He said, “There is a difference between having a knowledge that honey is sweet and have a sense [or experience] that honey is sweet. There is a difference between believing a person is beautiful and experiencing this beauty. There is a huge difference between saying, “Yeah I know God is important” and making Him important because you appreciate Him.
II. GRACE, THANKS, AND GIVING- In the Bible grace, thanks, and giving are all tied together. The Greek is hardly distinguishable. Almost every translation translates this verse, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable, unspeakable, uncontainable gift.” But the Greek word is not thanks “eucharist” but grace “charis.” In our passage the focus is on giving to God: giving cheerfully, giving in proportion to what has been given to you. The final motivation for thanksgiving is the same motivation for giving- a recognition that the gift we have is so valuable. If you are grateful for what you have it makes you want to share and loosens your hand a bit- to give without criticism or without strings. That is the way Jesus gave to us. God came to earth and gave even when we rejected the greatest- indescribable gift. I read an article in a Money magazine about an older wealthy deist who had been giving $7,500 per year to his three children. However, he didn’t like that one of his children was giving money to charity and to the church so he has decided to withhold it all and give it to the grandkids. The magazine wrote approvingly. Perhaps if the son spent the money on a new car, or a new boat, or a bunch of shoes each year- there are people who see NO VALUE in helping others or giving to the Lord- but they are blind and deaf to God’s beneficence. He gave money with strings attached and let me tell you that doesn’t work well- it makes people crazy. In contrast to that- if your eyes are open to God’s hand blessing you- you want to share that blessing because you know it is not just yours.
III. THE GREATEST GIFT HAS THE GREATEST VALUE- You know the greatest gift you can give to your children? Despite what the commercials say, it is not a car, a phone, a gadget, not a savings account, not a wardrobe, or a even a college education. If your children are beautiful, look good, are smart but don’t have love you are a beautiful, smart mess in life. Human love is a great gift – but it is limited, but knowing God’s love is the greatest gift. The best gifts don’t last for one day no matter how shiny- if it breaks on the first day that is a sign is it not that valuable. The best gift will last through the years- whether you are a child, teen, adult, or older adult. The best gift doesn’t need to be returned, or repaired. Really the best gift cannot be bought but it is nonetheless costly. The song says, “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold. I’d rather be his than have riches untold. The gift of Jesus is more than the world can afford. The gift that we all need, that is most appropriate for every single creature is the gift of the baby born in Bethlehem. This gift must be believed in and received. There was a man who was loved by his sister. She shipped him a Christmas gift online on Cyber Monday. But the man told his sister he never got it. She called up the company and it was tracked to his house. It was a small box and it sat on his front porch for two weeks- he didn’t see it. Christ is a gift- He is not merited by our good. But you have to know the gift is there- then you have to receive the gift. The gift of Christ is indescribable. If you know Him- treasure Him. If you do not know Him- receive Him and change your life for better.