Have you ever read O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi? The young starring couple, Mr. and Mrs. James Dillingham Young (or Jim and Della) want to give each other a special gift for Christmas, but they can’t afford anything worthy of the other. They sell their most prized possessions to buy their spouse something that will go perfect with… the others’ most prized possession. In the end, the narrator relates it back to the precious gifts of the wise men found in the Gospels.
“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. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.” – The Gift of the Magi
Those first gifts given to the Babe in the manger should be a model for us. Not unlike Jim and Della, it means giving a sacrificial gift, something that requires more of us. These best gifts are the ones that take their cost from our hearts.
Those of you that partner with us know what this means. You sacrificially partner with us all year long so that 216 children in Haiti can celebrate Christmas in a family, surrounded with people who love them and are teaching them about Jesus. That is a gift worth far more than a beautiful pocket watch or comb. Your partnership has enabled women in Ethiopia to provide for their children – not only financially, but also by introducing them to a saving relationship with Jesus. Hundreds of children who were once extremely vulnerable are going to celebrate this Christmas with hope. These are the very best gifts.