“…and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:9–11)
One of my favorite short stories by the American author O. Henry is The Gift of the Magi . I think you should read it. But if you don’t, here’s the gist. A husband and wife who have no worldly goods each sacrifice their only earthly treasure to buy a Christmas gift for their spouse. Here’s how O. Henry concludes the short tale:
“The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.”
In two short days we’ll be opening the gifts under our trees. It will be so much fun and will continue a long history of Christmas gift-giving begun years ago at Jesus’ birth. I wanted to thank YOU for your gifts this year. Every year, and especially at Christmas, we have “Magi” at New Life that give to help those in our church who need it.
- You’ve given $10,000 for Christ Community Church’s new building in downtown Denton.
- You’ve given another $46,482 for missions and outreach around the world – from sharing the gospel in Africa, Central America, Mexico, China and the Middle East to stopping abortion and sex-trafficking here.
- You’ve provided 226 Operation Christmas Child boxes for kids around the world.
- You’ve provided Thanksgiving and New Years dinner for the homeless in Denton with the help of Legacy Church.
- This Christmas you were the provision for two single moms in our family who needed help giving their children Christmas gifts, and one member who’s car broke down and couldn’t afford to repair it.
- Throughout the year you’ve bought groceries, meals, and gasoline for the needy.
- And of course, you gave generously throughout the year to meet the church’s budget.
I thank the Lord for you and your generosity. I am grateful for your wise gift-giving. May the Lord bless you the way the Lord blessed the Magi that first Christmas.