These are the gifts

(Alexander Smellie, “The Hour of Silence” 1899)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

“When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them!” Luke 7:37-38

Three things this woman gave:

PENITENCE was one. If her sin was dark–her sorrow was deep. If she had been a prodigal daughter, it was with weeping and mourning that she sought again her Father’s house.

And LOVE was another. There was something about Jesus: the looks of His countenance, the tones of His voice, His whole manner and bearing–which drew her towards Him with a commanding and irresistible affection.

And SACRIFICE was a third. She spilled and spent her precious ointment on the Savior. She counted all things loss, for His dear sake.

These are the gifts which I must bring to Christ. They are the treasures which His great heart covets! He would rather have my penitence, my love, my sacrifice–than my knowledge, my eloquence, my wealth.


And three things this woman received:

PARDON was one. He said unto her, ‘Your sins are forgiven!’ The burden of her guilt was loosened from her shoulders, and fell from her back!

And PURITY was another. She went from the Gracious Presence and the Sacred Face–to live a life blessedly new. God her Healer restored the miserable past, which the cankerworm had wasted.

And PEACE was a third. ‘Go in peace,’ the Lord commanded. And what He commanded, He gave. Hers was now and forever the peace which passes all understanding, “the Rose that cannot wither!”These are the gifts


These are the gifts that I take from Christ. They are the treasures my poor heart needs. His pardon, His purity, His peace–they are more to be desired than a universe of gold, or than the mines where the diamonds and rubies lie!

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