James 1:17 - 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.
It was a number of years ago when our daughter, Kris, moved into a new apartment.
Wishing to provide a bit of beauty to her new digs, Pam picked out a beautiful orchid as a housewarming present. Kris was most pleased and set the flower in a prominent position on her kitchen table. The flower stayed in that prominent spot for a good four or five hours. Sadly, the orchid was demoted when it became miserably apparent that Kris was terribly allergic to the thing.
If she got close, she would begin to sneeze, her voice got raspy, and her eyes would puff up. When the plant (or Kris) was moved to the safe distance of another room, all symptoms would begin to retreat.
The plant had been a good gift, a well-intentioned gift, but it was still the wrong gift.
Pam and I are not alone in the presenting of wrong gifts.
A few weeks ago Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited with the President of Taiwan. As is customary at such meetings, the two exchanged presents. The President of Taiwan gave a vase and the Governor of Texas, in ignorance, gave a clock.
I say "in ignorance" because the good Governor did not know that in Chinese and Taiwanese tradition, giving a clock also conveys the end of a relationship, the termination of someone's life, a curse which symbolizes an unexpected ending for the individual who has received the timepiece.
The clock had been a good gift, a well-intentioned gift, but it was still the wrong gift.
Two thousand years ago, our Heavenly Father sent His only Son into this world as the greatest Gift this sinful planet would ever receive. It had been entrusted to Jesus to keep the Law, resist every temptation, and then carry our sins to the cross, where He would be unfairly and unjustly crucified.
Sadly, the people who were among the first recipients took one look at God's Gift and they rejected it. They called God's Son a "liar," a "devil," a "Samaritan," and a "false prophet." Most rejected Him out of hand and more than a few plotted and took part in His martyrdom.
Yes, Jesus was murdered, but three days after His burial, He rose from the dead and showed Himself to a world that would never again be the same. His resurrection told all who hear that Jesus was a good Gift, a well-intentioned Gift, and He was the right Gift, which moves lost souls from hell to heaven,
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world still wishes to make Jesus into a wrong gift. May their minds and hearts be opened to the perfection and commitment the Savior brought to His mission to save us. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was written by Arden Dier for Newser on January 10, 2017. The website where the parent article can be found is: www.newser.com/story/236640/texas-gov-gave-taiwans-president-a-humiliating-gift.html
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries