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There was a young woman named Karen who was a well-trained nurse. She felt the Lord calling her to be a nurse and to spread God’s word in Africa. So she went to serve in a Methodist Mission Hospital in a remote corner of Africa. Karen loved her work. She found a heart-felt fulfillment in bringing her love and her medical care to this impoverished region of the world.

As Christmas approached, her thoughts turned toward home in the States. What could she send her family? Karen could not travel home, so she would have to send her presents by mail. She had little money. There was no place to shop and she could not mail a bunch of large presents. Karen had an idea, a great idea!

A few days before Christmas, a small box arrived at her parents’ home. Her mother could see it was from Karen. On the outside of the box these words were written in bold print: “Please Open on Christmas Morning with the whole family.”

So on Christmas morning, after all the other presents had been exchanged, her mother opened Karen’s box. She found a number of envelopes. One for Karen’s dad, one for her mom, one for her sister, one for her brother-in-law, one for her niece, and one for her nephew.

When they opened the envelopes, at first they were surprised. Each envelope held a small piece of poster paper. The pieces had been cut in funny shapes. Suddenly, they realized it was a home-made jigsaw puzzle and each family member had a piece of the puzzle. Quickly, they went to a table and put the pieces together… and when the last piece went into place. they realized that they had put together a heart. On the home-made poster paper heart were inscribed these words from Karen:

“Silver and gold have I none,

But such as I have,

I give to you…

I give you my heart.”

This is what God did for us on that first Christmas. He sent us His HEART! He sent His only Son into the world to save us, to redeem us and to turn our lives around. He sent us His heart to show us how much He loves us and to show us how He wants us to love one another. God sent His only Son into the world to be our Savior.

As you gather together with your family and friends this Christmas Day, look intently at each person with whom you are sharing this Christmas. Then put together the jigsaw puzzle God has given to you this Christmas. Discover the best present of all that God gives to you this Christmas –
His HEART! His only Son Jesus!

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