Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is not any variation or shadow of change. (James 1:17)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. Gifts. ‘Tis the season, after all. We deserve to go out and get that special something. After all, we’ve earned it. We’ve worked hard, and we deserve the Christmas bonus. We work hard, and then, when we don’t get what we think we deserve, we complain. After all, we have been pretty good this year. Have we been naughty or nice? We justify ourselves, and the gifts we think we deserve, we demand.
Or maybe, we despair. No good gifts for me. I don’t deserve it. We become a cynic, a pessimist, a doubter of God’s grace and mercy. He surely wouldn’t give me that. Why does the Lord give me this? What have I done? Or we doubt and think that no gift will come our way. God may care for them, or for even the lilies of the field, but not for me.
And so there we are: either proud, arrogant, and justifying ourselves, or we simply doubt and despair, resting in unbelief. But yet, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is not any variation or shadow of change.” Your heavenly Father still gives you every good and perfect gift because of Jesus. His forgiveness. His life. His righteousness. But, more than that, it truly is EVERY gift.
He who is Light from Light came down from the Father’s inapproachable light. He came down for our salvation. The true Light came down and shone in the midst of darkness. Jesus shone in the midst of the darkness of our sin. He who is light bore the darkness of our sin, and so He shone in the darkest place for you. Christ’s light was snuffed out in death on the cross. But that final darkness could not hold back the eternal Light, the Light from Light, the Light who came down from the Father of lights, and so His light shines forth now and eternally—victorious over the dark tomb, and the deep darkness of death. Because of Christ there is no shadow or change in the Father towards you. He won’t change His Calvary-set mind: it’s been set eternally. And because of Christ’s death and resurrection EVERY gift is yours. Every gift for life. Your earthly life. Your eternal life hidden now in God, but truly yours in Baptism. Your heavenly life hereafter. All of it assured, promised, and given because of Christ. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Delay not, delay not, O sinner, draw near.
The waters of life are now flowing for thee;
No price is demanded, the Savior is here;
Redemption is purchased, salvation is free.