Project Description

Series Overview

With the advent of gift registries and Amazon Wish Lists, it’s hardly possible to get an unexpected gift for Christmas anymore. As we sit here today, nearly a month out from Christmas, most of us already know what we’re getting (or at least we have certain expectations). That first Christmas, the world though it knew what it was getting, too – what a long-awaited Messiah would look like. They felt certain about how God would come to them, what He would look like, and what He would do for them. This Christmas, do you have those same expectations? On Sunday in our series, “Socks & Underwear,” we look at the first unexpected gift of Jesus, both then and now. And, you won’t want to miss the first installment of our four-part mini-film series with SNL alum Jim Breuer, as he hilariously discovers that sometimes the gift you didn’t expect or want is often the gift your really need.

With the advent of gift registries and Amazon Wish Lists, it’s hardly possible to get an unexpected gift for Christmas anymore. As we sit here today, nearly a month out from Christmas, most of us already know what we’re getting (or at least we have certain expectations). That first Christmas, the world though it knew what it was getting, too – what a long-awaited Messiah would look like. They felt certain about how God would come to them, what He would look like, and what He would do for them. This Christmas, do you have those same expectations? On Sunday in our series, “Socks & Underwear,” we look at the first unexpected gift of Jesus, both then and now. And, you won’t want to miss the first installment of our four-part mini-film series with SNL alum Jim Breuer, as he hilariously discovers that sometimes the gift you didn’t expect or want is often the gift your really need.

“I absolutely love it!” or, “It’s just what I wanted!” have to be two of the most commonly uttered phrases on Christmas morning. Statistically speaking, however, they also have to be two of the most common lies spoken on Christmas morning. Come on, you know you have done it – torn off the paper only to find a present that you hope came with a gift receipt, all the while raving about how perfect the polyester sweater is. A whopping $70 billion worth of Christmas gifts are returned every year – $70 billion! Jesus came to us as an unexpected gift that first Christmas night, and for many, he remains not only unexpected, but unwanted. It’s a gift that so often, we would love to return. Wondering for yourself, perhaps, if Jesus is right for you? Is He a good fit? Exploring why Jesus is so often a gift we would rather return than put on – this Sunday at Mendham Hills.

Palms a little sweaty, heart racing a bit with expectation, all as I approach the return counter at the mall. Sure, I like the sweater. It’s a fine sweater. But, I want the Ralph Lauren vest so much more. As the clerk scans my gift receipt, I can only hope that the credit I am about to receive will get me what I really want. You see, I like the sweater, but I would happily trade it in for the vest. I LOVE the vest.
The story of Christmas and our response to God’s gift to us is often the same way. We like Jesus. Jesus is fine. But, if we’re honest, there are a few things we want so much more. What would we want – what DO we want – instead of Jesus? What is it that we really love, and how can we re-prioritize our affections so that we might learn to love the gift of God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind?

On Christmas Eve, we conclude our four part, short film series, “Socks & Underwear.” What happens when Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer discovers for himself that the gift he didn’t expect, tried to return, and attempted to exchange, is actually the gift he really needs? It will be a remarkable evening of humor, song, and poignant reflection on the wonderful gift which has been offered to each of us. Together, we discover that the unheralded birth of a stable-born baby some 2,000 years ago – a gift we, too, didn’t expect and often don’t want – is the gift we really need. A Christmas like no other – this Christmas at Mendham Hills.