Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Wisdom of the Magi

One of the great, all time stories of Christmas is from O Henry. The Gift of the Magi is a love story about a woman who sells her long tresses to raise enough money to buy a watch fob for her husband.

The surprise comes when she discovers he has sold his watch to buy silver combs to place in her hair.

Each has made a sacrifice, with good intention, as a way of expressing their love for the other.

The Magi were rumored to have traveled from afar bearing gifts for a new born king. Their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were just as appropriate for the recipient as the watch fob and combs were in O Henry's story.

Gold was a traditional gift for royalty.

Frankincense had many uses including medicinal properties for calming and restoring peace. It was also burned by priests as a way of carrying the prayers of the faithful to heaven.

Myrrh was used to treat wounds due to its' antiseptic qualities. It was also used by Egyptians as an embalming ointment. The significance of myrrh is probably lost on many who read the story of the wise men. This tiny baby was born to be a king but would only do so through death 33 years after his birth.

Gifts exchanged at this time of year are only one way of expressing love. The true gift is not the physical item but the thought that goes with it.

Della put a lot of thought into the gift of a chain for her husband's watch. She purchased it by putting her husband ahead of vanity. In turn, Jim expressed his love for Della by sacrificing something dear to him to in order have the money to purchase his gift for her.

Christmas is a time to think of others and putting their needs and wishes ahead of our own. Blessings on you and yours during this season of love.
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