The Love of Jesus 2011 January

It’s no longer 2010, it’s now 2011, the old year, (refer to picture of Old Father Time) has disappeared, and we are well into our NEW year. (See new babypicture representing the new year.)

It’s a custom of ours that every New Year, every 365 days, we look at all our bad habits, and try to make changes our lives.

Thinking up new ways in which to live our lives has a name:-

These new ways are called New Year’s Resolutions. They’re promises many people make, to do better in the year ahead.

Here are the most popular resolutions that people make:- (attach your own pictures)

· I will be fit, and I will eat a healthy diet.

· I will look after my body, and not seek to harm it

· I will spend more time with my family time and less time watching TV

· I will be more careful with money, it doesn’t grow on trees

· I will take up a new hobby

These resolutions for 2011, are pretty much the same as the ones people made last year. You see usually we try too hard to keep these promises, or we don’t make these promises simple enough to tackle, and end up breaking them and lose heart.

I wonder how many of you made resolutions, and have broken them already?

So are we missing the most important New Year Resolution?

These are not bad resolutions at all, but is interesting to note that all of these are about ‘I’ ‘Me’ and ‘Myself’ and if they were more about what we can do for others, we might make the year 2011 really special?

Let me tell you a story which might help us realise what kind of promises are important to make in the year ahead. Let me tell you a short story by some one called O'Henry entitled, "The Gift of the Magi."

(tell story using male and female puppets; attach long hair made of raffia to the female puppet, which can be cut easily with scissors; either that or attach the raffia hair with Velcro, so it can be seen to be ‘cut off’.)

A poor young couple Della and Jim are searching for just the perfect gift for each other. They have very little money to spend. Della looks into the mirror at home, and lets down her beautiful hair, which falls around her shoulders and right down her legs like a beautiful waterfall. She decides there and then to sell it all at a local shop in order to buy a gift for Jim.

She goes along to the shop and her hair is all cut off. She receives twenty dollars for it, and buys her husband a chain and fob for his gold watch. The watch is an heirloom which Jim treasured, having been handed down to him from his father, and in turn from his father.

She returns home just before her husband does, and she tries her best to style her hair in such a way as to still be attractive to her husband, for she knows how much he admires it.’ Jim arrives home, and Della looks at him hoping he will forgive her and still love her the way she looks with very short hair, but the expression on his face is a strange one. Not one of horror, or anger but a curious look of despair. ‘Don’t be angry,’ she cries, ‘for I sold my hair to buy a Christmas gift for you!’

He reassures her after a while, and tells her she is beautiful with short hair as well as long, but then he shows her the reason for his startled reaction. He gives her the gift he has brought for her. When she opens it, she is saddened, for the parcel contains a set of jewelled combs which she had always set her heart on when she had long hair, but couldn’t afford. Don’t worry she says, my hair will grow again. Please open my gift for you. He opens it and discovers the chain and fob for his watch. It is then that he reveals that he has sold his watch to buy the ornate combs for her.

A sad but very beautiful story which tells us of their great love and sacrifice for each other.

The story shows us that the perfect gift is one given from the heart, and most suitable to the person’s needs! What they did receive was signs of their true love for one another, their sacrifice of love they had actually made was priceless.

The story is about

Love

and it’s about

Sacrifice

that means giving up something really precious ourselves,

so that someone else will be better off.

We’re told in the bible that LOVE is the greatest gift of all.

Jesus came to earth to teach us all about love. God loved the world so much that he gave him as a gift to us, so that we could learn what love was really all about.

· He taught us and showed us HOW to live in love

· He died for us to show us HOW MUCH he loved us

· He sent His Spirit to help and comfort us when he went back to heaven.

His love was patient and kind, he didn’t envy others, he didn’t boast, he was never proud or rude, or selfish, he only got angry with people who were not living the life they preached, he forgave people, and didn’t hold their faults against them.

NOW HERE WE HAVE THE BEST KIND OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.