22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit.
As part of the ordination process, I’ve been asked a lot about fruit; the abstract idea of fruit not literal apples and bananas. For example, back in January, I had to present of “fruitfulness project” showing a new and expanded ministry I’ve lead and how I’ve considered need and context when developing vibrant ministry. But this way of talking about “fruit” is extremely churchy. Imagine, really, if I was just getting coffee with a friend to catchup and asked them about the fruit in their life. I’d probably be met with a confused stare!
Here, though, in today’s Galatians text, we are given specific examples of what churchy “fruit” is: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” It’s quite a list and challenges us to see the fruit of the Spirit in all different kinds of aspects of goodness.
We can see the fruit of the Spirit when love is shared from one person to another,
when joy is found even in dark places,
when peace can be a release from chaos,
when patience pays off,
when kindness is the response to rudeness,
when goodness transforms the hearts of a community,
when faithfulness becomes habit,
when gentleness softens anger,
and when self-control allows us to listen fully.
I hope the questions about “fruit” don’t end now that the ordination process is over. Because amidst the business and stress, being asked to seek the fruit of the Spirit is a way to pull my awareness back to God’s goodness.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Where do you see God’s fruit in the world? Where are you a part of that fruit? What word in that list of what the fruit of the Spirit are resonates most with you?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, you flow through this world like wind, breezing goodness into our loneliness, anxiety, and sadness. Help us to feel that breeze this day. Amen.