Upon the arrival of their firstborn son, an ancient king and queen held a banquet to celebrate the momentous and happy event. The elated king and queen invited all the gentry and important people of the land to a great feast at the palace, in honour of the new prince.

Now, as was the custom in those days, whenever a royal son and new heir to the throne was born, the guests would present the child with some kind of golden vessel, as a gift to symbolise prosperity and long life.

Well some of the guests were generous in their giving and they brought along golden jugs and plates and bowls; others were less generous and they brought along golden cups and goblets: still others came who gave grudgingly; and they brought along golden egg cups and even thimbles.

When all of the guests bearing their gifts gathered before the throne, the king made a special announcement: Instead of offering their gifts to his son, the new heir, the king decreed that by way of celebration each guest should take his golden vessel into the royal treasury and fill it to the brim with such diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other precious stones as each vessel would carry.

And the moral of this little tale is found in the scriptures: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)