Every Good and Perfect Gift

This week’s Scripture:  James 1:13-18

My four-year-old and I have a little game we play.  It started one day with a serious question.  En route to day care, Eleanor looked up at the pink sunrise sky and asked, “Mommy, who made the clouds?”

(Can’t you imagine this pastor’s heart leaping at the chance to answer?)

“God made the clouds,” I explained.

We drove for just a minute more before my daughter asked a follow-up question:  “Who made the sun?”

“God,” I replied with a smile.

“And the birds?”


So this has become our game:  Eleanor asks who made something, and I tell her that God made it.

Sometimes, after a long pause in play, I’ll forget the game and give the wrong answer.  As we’re relaxing in the living room Eleanor might ask me who made our TV.  Without looking up from my magazine, I might answer (foolishly!), “Sony.” Eleanor will then look at me, intently, until I realize my mistake.  “Oh!  God made the person who made the TV… so, God made the TV!”

Thanks to Eleanor, I can’t forget what James 1:17 says so poetically:  “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…”  And if I remember that – really remember it, every day – then I start to live differently in response to God’s good gifts.

When we get good gifts, we’re taught to say, “Thank you.”  So I pause to say prayers of thanks after meals, at the end of the day, and during worship.

When we get good gifts, we take care of them.  So I try to make less trash, be kind to animals, and think carefully about how my actions affect creation.

When we get good gifts, we ought to share them.  So I share the gifts I’ve received with those in need:  my possessions, my money, my time, and my faith.

When we get good gifts, we give one in return.  So I give a small gift back to God every week via my check in the offering plate.

If you don’t know a four-year-old, allow me to share the blessing with you:

“Who made all the good gifts in your life?”

(Your answer:  “God!”)

May you go and live likewise.


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