The ancient saying, ‘All that glitters is not gold’, certainly didn’t apply to an opportunistic thief in New York. Noticing an unattended security van, he helped himself to a large bucket from the back. Probably to his surprise he got rather more than he bargained for, as it turned out to contain 86lbs of gold flakes. CCTV footage shows him staggering off down the street and disappearing into the crowd. He may well discover that the weight of his find becomes a terrible burden as he tries to find a way to use it.
While most of us may not be tempted to help ourselves to gold flakes, we are in that season of the year where we are bombarded from every angle with adverts for ‘must-have’ Christmas gifts. Many of them feature snow, and most of them feature sparkling lights and other shiny things, all designed to catch our eye and draw us in.
By some contrast the gift at the heart of the festival we are preparing to celebrate could not be more different. Apart from the angels, and the star that guided in the wise men, everything about the birth of Jesus was dull and dangerous. God’s greatest gift was not delivered with tinsel that would fade, but with love that would last.