A young married couple had more love than money. As Christmas neared, both struggled to find a gift that would show how much they cared for the other. Finally, on Christmas Eve, Della sold her long, knee-length hair to buy Jim a platinum chain for the watch he’d inherited from his father and grandfather. Jim, however, had just sold the watch to buy a set of expensive combs for Della’s hair.
Author O. Henry called the couple’s story The Gift of the Magi. His creation suggests that even though their gifts became useless and may have caused them to look foolish on Christmas morning, their love made them among the wisest of those who give gifts.
The wise men of the first Christmas story also could have looked foolish to some as they arrived in Bethlehem with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). They weren’t Jewish. They were outsiders, Gentiles, who didn’t realize how much they would disturb the peace of Jerusalem by asking about a newly born king of the Jews (v. 2).
As with Jim and Della’s experience, the magi’s plans didn’t turn out the way they expected. But they gave what money cannot buy. They came with gifts, but then bowed to worship One who would ultimately make the greatest of all loving sacrifices for them—and for us.
Father in heaven, please help us to learn what it means to give what money cannot buy.
God’s gift of grace is priceless.
The gifts the magi brought were precious. But the worship they offered the King of Kings from bended knee and bowed head was of greater value than the material gifts.
How can you worship God today?