Greetings in the name of God the “Father of lights!”
“Father of lights.” As I was reading in James this week I was drawn to this name for God and the reminder and invitation that comes from this scripture text.
17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. James 1:17-18
A reminder that good gifts come from God!
God, whose first recorded words in the bible were, “Let there be light” has continued to create light and life and be light and life for the world. God, the source of light and life, has continued to generously bestow on us good gifts even in the midst of difficult and challenging times. Have you taken time this summer to pause, to name and reflect on the good gifts that have come to you/us from our Father of lights! Have you given thanks for these gifts! I have heard some of you name some of those gifts: beautiful summer weather; fields of amazing looking crops; supportive family and friends; opportunities to gather in person; vaccines; loosening restrictions; in person and zoom worship; holiday time; the light and hope of God…!
God’s invitation to us!
God gave us physical birth, God gave us spiritual birth and God gave us the privilege of becoming “a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” “First fruits” is an Old Testament image and refers to the first portion of the harvest that was given to God as an act of worship and thanks. First fruits were a sample or foretaste of that which was to come. The invitation I hear in this passage is spoken clearly in “The Voice” translation of verse 18. “We have a special role in [God’s] plan. He calls us to life by His message of truth so that we will show the rest of His creatures His goodness and love.”
We the church are being invited to show the world God’s goodness and love; to show the world the way of God’s kingdom; to show the world what is possible when we live in the power and fullness of God. We are being invited to live fully into the image of God who is the “Father of lights!” We are being invited to reflect the image of God in the world! To be light bearers, life bearers, love bearers, peace and justice bearers, kindness bearers, hope bearers, good gift bearers…and so much more! And we are invited to be bearers in this world with extravagant generosity. May we allow the Spirit of the Father of lights to enlighten us, and to enlighten the path we are being invited to follow! More than ever the world needs, and we need, the generous light of God and the Lord Jesus Christ!