Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 29:15-30:14; Revelation 1:1-20

“He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.” (The Small Catechism: Meaning of the First Article of the Apostle’s Creed, Part 2)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Gift. Gifts are given and not deserved. They are never earned. On Christmas, you get the gift despite being naughty and not nice.

There are three parts to a gift: the giver of the gift, the receiver of the gift, and the gift itself. The receiver doesn’t deserve the gift from the giver. The giver doesn’t expect anything from the receiver of the gift. There are no bribes, wages, or quid pro quos between the giver and the receiver. There’s nothing for the receiver of a gift to say to the giver other than “Thank you.”

What has God the Father given you? Everything. Everything means…everything. What you are, all that you are, and ever will be is a gift from Him. Everything you have owned, own now, and will earn in the future—it’s all a gift. Every part of your body, every quirk of your personality, every part of you—yes, you guessed it, is a gift from your Father in heaven.

Your nose is the way it is, your ears are the way they are, your eyes are the color they are because God the Father gifted them to you. You struggle with what you struggle with, the things that don’t work on you and with you. These are, gifts, too. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the great and the I-wish-this-never-happened all come to you as a gift from Him.

God doesn’t make evil, we do. We are responsible for our sins and the consequences of them. Sickness and death came from Father Adam. We’ve added to it with our own actual sins ever since. All sin. All are guilty. All get sick. All die.

God takes everything that befalls you and makes it a gift for you. Even the most evil-est thing, even the awful-est pain, is made a gift for you and those around you in the suffering and death of Jesus. Even death—especially death—is made good in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. But only faith sees God’s hand working to make all things good. Only faith receives everything from the Father’s hand as a gift.

Gifts. God gives gifts. All that we have, all that happens to us, everything about us, He makes good in Christ. You won’t see it probably in this life. That’s okay. You’ll see it when Jesus comes again in glory. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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