Gifting Spirit (Fruit of the Spirit)
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5 (New Revised Standard Version)
During this season of Advent many of us are spending hours preparing our hearts for Christmas. That preparation often includes lovingly selecting a special gift for a family member or friend.
My father, raised during the Depression, loved to share with all who would listen to his favorite Christmas memory. What started when he was about five years old and continued for several childhood years, he would find one simple, but special, package labeled with his name under the family’s sparsely decorated Christmas tree. My father would describe the excitement and joy of unwrapping that one gift to find a wonderful toy his parents had lovingly made especially for him. However, twelve days after Christmas, the special toy would “disappear,” only to reappear the following year – again on Christmas morning, again under the tree, and again lovingly wrapped with his name on it.
The gift of the Holy Spirit came into each of our lives at our baptism, but our spiritual life is “re-gifted” over and over again – just like my father’s Christmas toy. The Spirit of comfort, giving, and discernment are among the many packages that are labeled with our name. As children of God, we are the branches attached to the vine that are watered and nourished by the Holy Spirit. The fruit we grow and share with the world is the fruit of the Holy Spirit promised to us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, into our hearts. Continue to persistently nourish our lives to bear much fruit.
Noel – Cohort 3: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Carmel, IN