(From the December Magazine)
What would you give up to own a precious jewel? Just recently the world’s most precious diamond was auctioned. It was sold for an eye-watering amount: just a few dollars change from $21.5M (= £13.5M). That’s a staggering amount to be raised during a worldwide recession for a colourless stone!
This ‘Archduke Joseph Diamond’ is named after its original owner. It spent most of its life in a bank vault and then was held by an anonymous buyer during WWII. It reappeared in 1961 at an auction in London were it reached a sale price of $6.5M. From there it resurfaced at a Geneva auction in 1993, when Christie’s sold it for $6.5M. This year it was up for sale once again in Geneva, at a luxurious hotel by the lake. Two bidders were involved wanting to own the 76.02-carat diamond, with perfect colour and internally flawless clarity, which came from the ancient Golconda mines in India. The successful, but anonymous, bidder has said that this ‘one of a kind’ diamond will now be displayed in a museum.
It is hard to put a monetary value against what matters most. Precisely what we should value most is highlighted by one of Jesus’ briefest parables: “the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13 vv 45-46). Jesus explains by this parable that the value of the life he alone can give is precious above all things. So much so, that it is worth giving up everything else in order to have it!
At Christmas we can become preoccupied with searching for things: gardening gear, gym-wear, games, gadgets, or getaways! But few, if any,
would say it was worth giving up everything in order to have these things. At the very heart of Christmas is the pearl of great price: Jesus, the gift of God to the world. He uniquely reveals God. He alone can grant us eternal life. He is worth giving up everything for, because
he is priceless. Our Christmas celebrations are to be on a grand scale as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the gift of God for the world.
You are invited to join our Christmas celebrations of Jesus’ birth. He is ‘Immanuel’, which means God with us and it is this that makes him priceless.
I hope that you have a very happy Christmas.