I am not sure how many of you have read the short stories that O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) wrote, but one I have always enjoyed especially around the holidays is called, “The Gift of the Magi”!
Let me share this great short story for you, the reader. The story is about a couple, Jim and Della, who live in a small apartment and live quite modestly. There is never very much left over after paying their bills and buying food each month.
Each of them has one valued possession that they consider treasure! Jim has a gold pocket watch that was passed down from his grandfather and father. Della has beautiful, long hair that hangs close to her knees.
On Christmas Eve, Della wants Jim to have a gold chain for his pocket watch. As she looks in the store windows, she knows she doesn’t have enough money. She rushes home and looks at her beautiful hair and realizes she could have her hair cut and sell it. Della receives enough money from the hair cut with what she had left over from paying the bills to buy the gold chain.
When Jim arrived home, he looked at Della and tried to figure out what was different about her. She told him she sold her hair, so she could buy him a Christmas gift. Before she could give Jim his gift, he pulled out a gift for Della. As she opened the package, she found a pair of costly hair combs that she had long admired. But they were useless now because her hair was cut.
As she held her tears, she handed Jim his gift, the gold watch chain. Jim proceeds to tell Della that he sold his gold watch, so he could buy her the hair combs. This couple gave up what was most treasured and precious to them, so they could give a gift of love to each other.
As I remember this story by O. Henry, I am reminded as we celebrate the Christmas season the gift that God gave to us. A very treasured and precious gift He gave to you…His Son, Jesus. Because of God’s great love for you, He sacrificed His greatest treasure so that you might know His love!
The story of “The Gift of the Magi” displays to us powerful themes of love and sacrifice.
The Christmas story displays to you powerful themes of love and sacrifice as well. The story doesn’t stop with His birth, but continues with His life, death and resurrection.
Let me remind you of this: The gift that God gave to you on that Christmas morning some 2,000 years ago still continues as His love for you doesn’t stop because the Christmas season is over. God still loves you and will continue to love you!
John wrote this familiar passage of scripture – John 3:16, “For God so loved the world [you], that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever [you] believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)