The rush of the morning and the flurry of gift opening was followed by an equally rushed journey to church. My wife’s parents, Michael and Jennifer, spent the night with us and my parents, Hugh and Angela, came over early to watch the joy on their respective grandkids faces and have breakfast with us. We could have had a lazy family morning but promptly at nine thirty we were on our way to church. I am so glad we went.
My english teacher from a couple of decades ago, Calvin Bromfield, lead the service with a message titled ‘The Indescribable Gift‘. This was truly the perfect sermon at the perfect time. It’s not often that one ends with a round of applause.
The message was a look at 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 and in particular the last line. I have linked both to save you the time in looking it up if you were so inclined. Calvin reminded us that the author of this letter to the Corinthians, Paul, was a learned and precise man. Thus, the key last sentence in the passage begs the question. Why was this famously precise and meticulous man so very imprecise in his statement at verse 15? “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” In the words of Calvin, he kind of lost it at the end. Or did he?
John 1:1-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
You can imagine then that Paul is now writing to the Corinthians giving them instructions and trying to sum things up after a few passages on giving and generosity in the early Christian church in Corinth. He knows from first hand accounts of the birth of Jesus. He knows what is described in John 1:1-5. Paul ‘loses it’ and gives thanks to God for the ‘indescribable gift’ of His son.
We can’t conceive of a gift that is so perfect and so pure. A gift that was foretold and would change the world forever. God gave us a gift that was His word made flesh.
Imagine giving the best gift that you could ever think of giving to someone whom you loved dearly. Now, imagine that the gift was not used, or worse, returned to you. The hurt must be heartbreaking. Calvin’s message was that God’s gift to us is one that we should accept and accepting it means that He lives in you, loving you. To reject the gift is to leave the giver, God, with a broken heart.
The good news of this ‘indescribable gift’ is that it is not for a select few. It is, as said in John 3:16, a gift for all. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
A somewhat different ‘musing’ from me if you are a regular reader but I hope it has an impact on you in some way. I always enjoy your comments so please post them here if you wish.