Scripture: Galatians 5:16-24
Key verses: (22-23) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Reflection: Imagine walking up to an apple tree and having a chat. “Last year your apples were too small and didn’t taste good, so this year you need to have better apples!” Ridiculous image isn’t it? The apple tree bears fruit when everything comes together to nurture the tree. The apple tree needs plenty of sunshine, the right amount of rain, seasonal temperatures, healthy soil, and maybe even some pruning by the orchard owner.
How often have you heard Paul’s list of the “fruit of the Spirit” and then been told to go make those qualities happen in your life? It’s like scolding an apple tree for the quality of the apples. Instead we need to recognize that Paul’s word choice of “fruit” is brilliant because it acknowledges that these character qualities aren’t created or conjured up as much as they are consequences for life nurtured by the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit are outward signs that an individual has an inner spiritual life.
So rather than scold you for your lack of good fruit, and rather than admonishing you to go produce better fruit, let me invite you to nourish yourself spiritually. Take some quiet time today in the presence of God. Maybe that quiet time is on a walk outside or sitting in a chair looking out the window or closing your eyes and taking several deep breaths while you sit at your desk. Invite the Holy Spirit in and welcome whatever the Spirit brings today. Ask God to nourish you and see what happens.
Prayer: Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Dwell within me and nourish me so that I will bear good fruit. Attune me to your presence in the moments of my day. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].