Has all the “dust settled” yet from your Christmas festivities? We got back home from an upstate trip last night and got settled real fast, what an exhausting yet great time the past few days. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve service singing and hearing again some classic Christmas music and Luke’s account of the first Christmas then Sunday morning we were nicely surprised with a better than expected turnout at church too as we all celebrated part of our Christmas together as a church for a change with Christmas falling on Sunday this year. Even our grandson, Ty gave a nice testimony at church ! Add to that the additional family gatherings and by Monday night we were, as they say on the farm, ready to ‘hit the hay’ !! But it was again a time to build memories, see family and friends, laugh and just live !!
I am the designated person to pray at large family gatherings, that comes with the turf of being a pastor, ha. And as we all gathered to eat it was a joy to be able to offer a prayer of thanks for God allowing us all to be there safely and to enjoy the fellowship and to be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas ! When James wrote his book, he being a half-brother of our Lord, he had likely been privy to some memories no other of the apostles had, he’d grown up with Jesus ! He’d sweated in the same carpenter shop, played with the same toys, ate many a meal at the same table as Christ !! Given those facts, his words are that much more important to consider. So he wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (1:17).
We have all been given many wonderful things to enjoy. At Christmas we realize them more as we mature and get together. There is family, there is the wonderful fellowship, fond memories, there is the great food to enjoy, the laughs and the tears even. And yes, even the tangible gifts we open from our loved ones bespeak our love for one another. But all of these would never in truth be possible were it not for the “Father of lights” and what He has done for us as so vividly recorded in Scripture and celebrated in our nation each year at Christmas time !
James told us about God that every gift from above is perfect because He is perfect in goodness Who doesn’t change like shifting shadows do. In creating the ten octillion stars and ordering their courses and unique constellations we see His perfectness. Last night as we drove back we saw an awesome crescent shaped moon and the brilliant north star. My wife remarked how pretty it looked and I thought how God has hung it there in space millions and millions of miles away for us to see and marvel at His power and glory. But when James wrote this verse in his language he penned an even stronger sense than the english brings out emphasizing the action of giving is good and that all of God’s gifts are telion (his Greek word) or complete, his meaning then is that when God gives its as we say “ALL good” !! Totally good !!!! Nothing evil can possibly come from above, period !! And since His gifts are perfect, they, unlike ours, reveal their perfection the more they are examined and experienced !!
This goodness, my friends, says James never changes ! Amen?! An old music teacher was once asked as he was greeted by a student, “Whats the good news today?” The elder professor walked over to a tuning fork in his classroom, picked it up and struck it and as the note sounded he said, “That’s an A. It’s an A today, it was an A 5,000 years ago and it will be an A 10,000 years from now. The soprano upstairs sings off-key, the tenor across the hall is out of tune.” And he struck the note again and said “That is A, my friend, and that’s the good news today !” Our good news about Christmas even after the dust has settled is that God is infinitely good !!!