Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

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."

Literally, "Every good gift and every perfect (or complete) bestowment is from above"...

Here's the problem with this passage. The idea of something "coming down" here means in the sense of coming down a heirarchy. If the Spiritual world was a pyramid, with the Father at the top, that's what "coming down" means. Passed down from on high? Coming down from the father of lights. Some good gifts have to be handed on. They aren't things we can just appropriate ourselves. They literally come down to us through inheritance. I'm thinking here of a spiritual inhertance rather than a physical one. In a grand way we are inheritors this way of the whole apostolic line from Peter on down. But in another way we are inheritors of the spiritual inheritance of the saints who passed the faith on to us and especially of those we have known as mentors. They are the ones who have shown us the Father. We know Christ in the most immediate way because of THEM, not because of Peter and Paul and James. If I had never known a word of Scripture, I might still have learned Christ from those who knew him before I did.

So, to Chris and Jim, Dick and Carol, to Mort and Jenny and Ted, to Dennis and Judy and to all those who came after those initial days when I was struggling to understand the core of the faith, thanks. You were there to portray Christ to me and to show me that every good and perfect gift indeed descends from one rung further up on the ladder; from one saint further back toward the First.

Jon

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