"Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above..." (James 1:17)

What is the best gift you have ever received?

I'm sure you've been asked this at times in your life. Remember getting a new bike, or a special day baking cookies with your grandmother, or maybe your first car as a teenager? Maybe later it was your education, a chance to study abroad, a camping trip with your dad, or making Christmas cookies with mom.

Every Perfect Gift

What do these perfect gifts give us, aside from the pleasure of the possession? They each show us how to live in the moment, appreciate what we have - whether it was long afternoons playing in the backyard with your best friend, or singular moments like listening to the sound of the current of a river on a quiet summer afternoon with a loved one. They also teach us about generosity, for the delight we have in experiencing the gifts often makes us want to share those experiences with others. This is the relationship between receiving and generosity, and it’s a pattern, that, once it takes root in us, continues in perpetuity. The more we practice generosity, the more we recognize God's abundance around us.

Every Generous Act

In many congregations it is the practice to sing the Doxology as our gifts — the elements of the Eucharist and our offerings — are brought to the altar for blessing. “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,” it begins; and these words remind us of the font from which springs all generosity, all love, all gift. We are called in that moment to reflect on this cycle of abundance sparked with the first light and made manifest in the Creation, in the calling of prophets, and in the gift of God’s own son on Earth. As we share our gifts through the Eucharist and through our service to the world, we participate in the ongoing creation of abundance and generosity.

What is the best gift you have ever received?

God's gift of life to each of us and the promise of eternal life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ are gifts beyond measure and price. They are reminders that all that we are and all that we have comes from God. This awareness opens our hearts to serve in the world, to share with others. As we share our time, talent, and treasure with our church and with the world, we unleash those same gifts in our communities: discovery, inspiration, creativity, communication, sharing. Through the ministries that are enabled by our gifts, the inspiration we show to our neighbors to unlock their generosity in the world, and the stories we tell about ourselves and our experiences, we participate with God in an abundant vision for the world. Every perfect gift comes from God above.