Monday, May 07, 2012

From Whence Comes Good Gifts?

Yesterday was a very warm day, especially for me, as I was fulfilling my duty as husband and chief barbeque chef.  We decided that barbecuing a turkey would be a good choice for this week’s meat supply for our suppers.

As I prepared the fire, the robins splashed about in the two pans of water that I have in the yard for the birds and squirrels and other by-passers of our back yard.  One of the robins perched on the fence and looked back at me as I worked.  I said to him, “You’re welcome.”  Then I thought and said, “Do you even know that I am the one who sets the water out for you?”

It seemed to me a fitting reflection of this Sunday’s Epistle reading.

     Do not err, my beloved brethren.  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.  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  (James 1:16-21)

How often we forget that every giving that is good and every gift that is complete is from above, coming down to us from the Father of lights.  How truly good and gracious and loving our heavenly Father is we really do not realize.  We do not even understand all that we need for our lives, yet the Lord ceaselessly provides everything, even without our knowledge or understanding, even without our asking, even without our faithfulness.  We abuse ourselves and He reaches out to us offering healing.  We wander into foolish ways and He calls us back to the straight path of safety.

Oh, that we would hear Him, truly hear Him, even as the Collect of the Day leads us to pray and confess:

     O God, who makes the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant unto Thy people that they may love what Thou commandest and desire what Thou dost promise that among the manifold changes of this world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

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Gary Cepek said...


Thanks for the Scripturally - based reflections. I am at a loss for words, but THE LORD God is never at a loss, either for the words which reveal Him to us, or for the providential care that preserves and protects us even while He extends our time of grace.

Gary Cepek

Not Alone +++ PAS said...


I marvel every Sunday at what is regularly proclaimed and held before us in the liturgy. The Collect for the Day teaches us the depths of the new life given to us through Baptism in the body of Christ. This week's Collect teaches us the exact opposite of what we continually hear from the businessmen who have usurped the pastoral office. They say that true unity and oneness of mind and will are not possible, even though we have prayed the Truth every Fourth Sunday after Easter.

I continue to be perplexed that the people prayed these wonderful prayers without thinking what they say and without believing what God promises.

But God is faithful and for those who do have ears to hear, the true faith carries them through every day of their lives in the unity of God's glorious Communion.

It is always a joy to hear from you that you continue in that same way so that we truly walk together in the Lord.

Gary Cepek said...


Yes, indeed, it is His faithfulness that avails for His people, uniting them in the one true faith and its expression.

Your 1st and 3rd paragraphs above stir this thought: Such blessed tools as the Collects wonderfully express spiritual truths that someone like me struggles to formulate in prayer. The bonus is the way the Father uses them to teach and nurture the very things we are seeking - "expressing spiritual truths with spiritual words to build one another up," to paraphrase the apostle. Thanks be to God.

Gary Cepek