The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Gal 5:22, 25

I have a hard time keeping my hands clean this time of year. All it takes is one walk through the yard and I find myself pulling weeds here and there, rubbing a leaf to catch it’s scent, or squashing a bug eating my tomato leaves. I have dirt under my nails and etched into my fingerprints. Even when I wear my gardening gloves, my hands get dirty. I guess you can’t be a gardener without getting a little dirt under your nails. 

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

The growing season is a very “hands on” season. I picture this time we are spending with the fruits of the Spirit as a very “hands on” season as well, because growing in faith is a lot like gardening. As we think about how the Spirit is active in us, and how we are called to practice things like love, joy, peace, faithfulness, kindness, generosity, and gentleness we are going to get a little dirt under our nails. 

This Sunday we will be thinking about patience and self-control, which always makes me think of my Grandma who used to pray, “God give me patience, but give it to me now!” No one comes into this world embodying all these traits. Some fruits are more natural to us than others, and some are more challenging just depending on who we are, but the Spirit keeps leading us to grow. 

No matter who we are and what our personalities are like, paying attention to the Spirit is a hands-on experience.  It requires participation, action, and you might get some dirt under your nails. Fortunately for us, as we practice and seek to grow in these fruits, we can trust that we are held and led by the master gardener. Our master gardener knows we won’t reach perfection, but the gardener never stops tending us and nourishing us with grace and mercy so we can bloom into who we were created to be. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Lead us, Gracious God, and shape us by the grace of Christ and the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. Open our hearts to expand our understanding of love and kindness, that we may grow in our ability to reflect your love and kindness to those we meet this day. All this we ask in the name of Christ, Amen.