A few years ago, a news report surfaced about a young man making extra money for college selling ugly Christmas sweaters.  Who doesn’t need to make a little extra, right?  I decided one way to help pay down the mounting debt from my son’s medical bills would be use my day off from Church to visit area thrift stores and Goodwill’s and stock up on gaudy sweaters to auction off on eBay.  I accumulated quite a trove of the ugly apparel and started listing them.  Several sold.  However, three plastic grocery bags of sweaters failed to make the cut in purchasers’ eyes, so I brought them to church and offered them to the teenagers.  They took a few off my hands, but many others occupy a table in my cluttered office.

On Sunday afternoon, I received a text from a former youth group member searching for an ugly sweater.  She asked how much my ugly sweaters sold for on eBay.  I responded with, “Don’t worry about the price, I think we can make a trade.”

A few hours later she picked up the atrocious sweater and attended a party holding an ugly sweater contest.

What did I trade for?  Babysitting!

I traded something ugly for something wonderful.

After she gladly accepted the deal, a thought struck me.  When Jesus entered this world, he traded a perfect home for an environment ravaged by heartache and pain.  When He obediently took upon Himself the cross of Calvary, He traded His righteousness for our sin so we might have the righteousness of Christ.

Jesus modeled trading something ugly for something wonderful.  So, on December 25th, if after tearing into a wrapped box an ugly sweater or another stomach churning item of clothing greets your eyes, let that gift be a reminder: Jesus took your “ugly” upon Himself to forge something beautiful….a brand new you.

By the way…she won the sweater contest.

We made a good trade.