Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
Gift language is how Lutherans learn to speak about God. The Ten Commandments are not just a series of prohibitions, but also language about gifts given and received and the source of those gifts. Likewise, the articles of the creed are a testament to the graciousness of our giving God, who provides for all of our needs of body and soul through physical gifts, through the saving work of His beloved Son and through the Spirit’s gifts of Word and Sacrament at work in the Church today.
As congregations, families and friends gather together for worship and to break bread with glad and sincere hearts. There is no better way to remind God’s children of His gifts than to remember and draw on the first three parts of Luther’s Small Catechism. The first article of the creed and the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer especially help us to see God’s gracious hand being opened and satisfying all of our physical needs. Additionally, as Christ has redeemed us by His precious blood and forgiven us of all our sins, we are set free from our sins so that we might forgive those who sin against us. Finally, we see the gathering together with other saints of God in public worship as a means of receiving from God His gracious gifts as the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies us that we might hold the Word of God sacred in our daily lives.
Before rushing to the turkey and pumpkin pie, football games and Hallmark movies, may your Thanksgiving celebration include time to recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from above. The primary way we know God is through His gifts. Since we have we received so great and many gifts from God, our hearts overflow with joy and thanksgiving. A blessed Thanksgiving to you all!
Prayer - Almighty God, our heavenly Father, your mercies are new every morning. Even though we do not deserve your goodness, provide for all our needs of body and soul. Give us your Holy Spirit that we may humbly acknowledge your merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all your benefits, and serve you in willing obedience; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan