Readings: Joel 2:28-29, Galatians 5:16, 22-25, John 15:1-8
Nine Fruit
Our church and preschool theme verse this year is from Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. Working here at church, I see evidence of the Spirit’s fruit in word and action all the time. Maybe because God has trained me to notice, I’ve also seen some fruit in Naughty Cat. Can animals serve the Lord? Some of us say a resounding YES! Many domestic animals learn to live with rules that override their instincts. Christians also override our instincts to become more and more like Christ. Naughty Cat shows her love to us, purrs her joy, naps in the sun with peace, patiently waits for us to come home. She is kind and snuggly when we are stressed or hurting. Her instincts win sometimes against the goodness as she jumps on the table and tries to steal my chicken, but we all struggle to be good sometimes, right? She is faithful to greet us at the door and bring us her toys as gifts. We had an exceedingly gentle cat once that taught a baby how to be nice to animals. (Naughty Cat isn’t quite that gentle.) Instinct and self-control wrestle within all of us, and she’s no exception. She hunts like a tiger if a poor gecko sneaks into the house, even though we have a “do no harm” rule. I don’t know how or if the Spirit lives in animals, but they sure can walk in love sometimes. In contrast, we Christians know the Spirit dwells in us. If those nine fruit are not evident, the Spirit is always ready to help us develop and grow. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Step by step, it’s a journey of growing in grace and love. A challenge this week: Memorize the nine fruit and watch for evidence of it in other people, or even furry friends, and be encouraged. The Spirit is with us every step. Walking with you in grace, Tracy