The Gift Experience
This idea came from a W H Smith catalogue for Christmas Gift Experiences, where customers are invited to buy an ‘experience’ rather than a normal present: i.e. hang-gliding, motor car racing etc., Enter some shepherds gazing at such a catalogue.
Reuben: Hi Caleb. Come and look at this new Christmas Gift Catalogue from W H Smiths; there's a new kind of present on the market now, which is proving very popular indeed. It's called a 'GIFT EXPERIENCE'.
Caleb: Haven't got time man, we due on the fields near Bethlehem tonight, AND I hear the sheep have been very restless all day.
Reuben: Hang on a minute, just take a look at this , you can drive a Formula One car for a day, at £1,299.99,
Or a flight in a MiG fighter jet, (£699.99) a trip in a hot-air balloon (£189.99) sky diving (£279.99)…bungee jumping(£99.99) and then there's an afternoon in a recording studio (£179.99)
Caleb: Get away, have you heard me sing?
Reuben: Or what about a pamper session at a health club at around £139.99. It seems that this is becoming more and more popular with the men now as well as the women.
Caleb: Na I'm not interested Reuben, Can't afford it! Anyway these experiences are all over in a flash, and forgotten in no time, and you feel you've wasted all that money for nothing.
Reuben: Hang on, hang on Caleb, look at this section!!
It says if you are worried about choosing the wrong activity and would like a wider choice, they have now brought out a MULTI-CHOICE OPTION, eight activities in one gift package, and you just choose which one you fancy.
It says there are no age restrictions, no need to take out personal insurance, and 'participants can share the experience with four other people.'
See Benjamin, Daniel and Titus could come in on it too.
Caleb: So you get to do all eight? So what's on offer? (Ben, Dan and Titus gather round)
Choice 1 Relax and take time off work.
(Benjamin: I could do with that, it's a cold time of the year for looking after sheep.)
2 Spend a whole night under the stars in a far- eastern beauty spot
(Daniel: We do that already)
3 Have a heart thumping spooky experience in the dead of night.
(Titus: Oo I don't fancy that one)
4 Enjoy an exciting encounter with a heavenly choir
(Caleb: Well that would be pleasant)
5 Go on an exciting treasure hunt
(Benjamin: Now that sounds good, I wonder what the treasure would turn out to be?)
6 Free entry to see a showing of the ‘Saviour of the World or the Messiah’
(Daniel: Now THERE'S THE ONE! That's the experience I would want, imagine seeing the Saviour of the world! We've waited ages for that))
7 There's two more offers here; a chat with two celebrities, two people whose names will go down in history
(Titus: mmmmmm…it would depend who they were)
8 A chance to do a live broadcast (All: 0OOOOOH?)
There you have it: choose ONE.
Caleb: Well they sound very exciting, but there's far too much to take in on one night. Besides, It's time to go on night-shift now. It'll keep for another time.
O.K.all of you , but what you've got to remember is that chances like these don't come round very often. You don't know what we might be missing!!!!!!
That night was the shepherd’s finest hour!
Every item in that MULTI CHOICE LIST came to be, in that very order.
But the ultimate gift experience of all of these for them, was to gaze on the face of the Messiah, the Son of God…PURE LOVE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, one who was to save them from their sins, and be a light to a people walking in darkness..
They didn't have to pay, because this gift , the greatest event in history, was free…and it was an experience so wonderful they immediately wanted to share with others.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him shall not die…
But have eternal life.
We're not talking about a gift that was only available THEN just over 2000 years ago, but is also available today, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!
We can accept this gift now.
He is the gift you can give away and keep at the same time.
But he is also a gift that we can put off receiving, just like Caleb and the others tried to do.
A newspaper recently stated that a 'live for today' mentality now exists in people since Sept 11th. This 'let's not put this off till retirement age, let's do it now, and enjoy all the benefits from today.' way of thinking. If we can work this out logically about gifts we buy for money, why is it we can't see it, when it's about the most wonderful gift of all which comes free?