By A Web Design Company
Saturday, 24 December 2011
The Perfect Gift
Series:Christmas season 2011/12
Duration:8 mins 21 secs
Have you ever loved someone so much that wanted to find them the perfect present? I remember when I was dating Jenni we had been dating for about 6 months trying to find that first gift for birthday was not easy – I actually can’t remember what I gave…so I went and asked her and she said I bought her a bracelet and the following year for her 21st earrings.
I went to the effort of meeting up with one of her friends who was a jeweller and she helped me choose. I was a poor seminary student so I didn’t have much money so I probably put it on my credit card – not a very romantic story not like the one that is told by O Henry (William Porter) in his famous short story the gift of the magi.
I would love to read you the whole story but that would take a while so I have improvised it.
The story is about a young couple, Jim and Della, who live in New York. Jim and Della are financially poor but rich in love for one another.
It was Christmas time in New York, Della wished to buy Jim a present but all she had was $1.87, money she had been saving for months. Not enough money to buy something that Jim deserved for his noble character. The one thing in Jim’s life that he adored apart from his wife, was his gold watch that was his grandfathers and the one thing Della’s adored was her beautiful long hair.
As Della stood in her basic apartment she ran her hands through her and hair and the thought came to her mind to sell her hair, so she ran to the hairdresser who payed who $20 for her beautiful shining hair. With the money she brought Jim a beautiful platinum fob chain for his grandfather’s watch that he adored to replace the tired old leather band it now had. Della went home and fixed her hair as best she could for Jim’s imminent arrival home from work.
Now the night had come and Jim was late which was unusual. He came through the door in excitement but stood quiet by the door as he looked over at Della. Della thought he was shocked by her hair and emotion filled spoke up, “Jim don’t look at me that way, I sold my hair because I couldn’t have lived through C,hristmas without giving you a gift”
But Jim wasn’t in shock with Della’s new haircut, instead from his worn out over coat he pulled out a parcel, it was his Christmas gift for her. Della un-wrapped the gift and to her astonishment saw the most beautiful hair combs, the same that Della had worshipped in the windows of a broad-way store. They were a beautiful design with jewel rims.
Her hair was no longer its beautiful length; the combs were useless, at least for the time being. But Della stood in awe of her beautiful gift and said to Jim “my hair grows fast!” Della’s mood turned serious and she said, “but my love for you is more than each strand of my hair”.
It was time for Della to give her beloved Jim his gift. She handed to Jim to small box that contained the beautiful fob chain for his precious watch. As Jim opened the box Della exclaimed “isn’t it beautiful I searched all over town to find this for you. Now get out your watch and let me see what it looks like.”
Jim fell back in his seat with his hands behind his head and smiled and said, “I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs”.
The narrator brings the story to a close by pronouncing that Della and Jim are the wisest of everyone who gives gifts. They are like the magi who bring gifts to the baby Jesus Christ.
O Henry wrote this story to share with people the message of Christmas and the sacrificial love that is demonstrated in the giving of gifts; Jim and Della go to extreme lengths to show their love for each other.
The story seems far removed from our day and age, we live in abundance, but still the core message is the same: what lengths do you go to find that perfect gift for a loved one? What really matters, what is really valuable?
In the gospel of John it is written: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
God went to great lengths to gives us the perfect gift. A gift that is ours, a gift that all we can do is receive and give thanks for. And tonight we certainly give thanks as we worship him with our hearts and voices.
We live in a society where it is hard to receive without giving back – God doesn’t expect anything in return. The shepherds heard the good news, saw the good news and shared the good news; they shared the news because they were amazed at what had happened.
We can pass each Christmas without thinking about the gift God gives us – but this year let us all reflect on the love that God brings into the world though Jesus Christ. And ask yourself, ‘what does this message mean in my life at the moment?’
Maybe you are looking for more in your faith with God this coming year, maybe you feel the need to grow, maybe you feel called to serve God in his church and to take the gospel message out into the world.
Maybe you are struggling with your faith and need to rest and reflect on the message that God comes to you as a gift of love. God gives you the perfect gift tonight – the good news of salvation, love and acceptance for all people, for you.
So hear the good news and leave this place with the joy and peace of Christ.
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