It has been a meaningful exploration of the Fruit of the Spirit this summer as a pastor and as a fellow parishioner. I have been reminded while preparing for each message the opportunity I have to reflect the very nature of God as I allow the Holy Spirit to mold and shape my life.
With the challenges our communities and nation have faced this summer alone, I can’t help imagining the effect if all believers allowed the fruit of the Spirit to control our lives. What difference would it make to the people in the flood ravaged areas to be supported by people whose lives are hanging full of kindness, love, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness? What would it mean to the people in our emergency shelter here in Lebanon to be constantly surrounded with love, joy, kindness, gentleness? What would it mean to the communities facing the fallout of racial bigotry to be surrounded and protected by people with a passion for peace, filled with love, responding with self-control?
There’s something deep inside that wants to scream to the world – “Enough!!” and invite everyone to a better way as demonstrated by Jesus. He became a living tree that offered new life with the fragrance, the nutrition, and the communal
participation of the fruit of His Spirit. Look daily for opportunities to offer fruit to those in your home, in your neighborhood, in your workplace, in the community, indeed wherever you have contact with others.
While the fruit we pick this summer is seasonal, the fruit of the Spirit is not only what we “pick” this summer, it is year round opportunity. Be a fruit tree. May Good Shepherd be an orchard.