Christmas illustration: (Have three wrapped Christmas Parcels. First volunteer takes one present but then says I don’t want it and throws in on the floor. Second, takes another present and marvels at the box, the wrapping paper and the pretty bow but says, ‘I couldn’t possible open it… I might not like it, besides my life is too busy and too complicated right now… I’ll just keep it for some other time’. The third rips open the present and tips out lots of sweets all over the floor, and then starts to share them with others.)

Application: People respond in three ways to God’s Christmas gift to mankind. First response is to ignore it; have nothing to do with it. Second response is to receive it, once a year maybe, but they never actually open the present; they never really get what the present is or what it’s about; instead they focus on the packaging, the children, the decorations, the family… ‘For me that’s what Christmas is all about’, they say! The third response is to receive the gift willingly; they open it and enjoy all that God has in store for them.