Daily Devotions are published Tuesday-Saturday during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NRSV)
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.
The Holy Spirit: God acting in and through our lives, as we learn in the stories of Moses, and of Jesus Christ, and of his disciples on that roaring, flaming day of Pentecost! But is God’s Spirit with us only in such majestic, momentous times? Or does the Spirit live and move in the quiet corners of our hearts?
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, 5:22-23 (NRSV), we hear the answer. The stunning and awesome power of God’s Spirit, empowering prophets, leaders, and priestly servants, also inspires our everyday acts of compassion, which Paul calls “the fruit of the Spirit . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
It takes strength to grow fruit like this. We can find that strength when we listen to Jesus: “Love one another.” “Blessed are the peacemakers.” “Give, and it shall be given to you.” “Fear not, little flock.”
We have needed strength through these past weeks—the courage to hunker down, to up-end our routines, and to envision new lives in the days ahead. For the living of these days, God is with us, and God has entrusted us to each other, to encourage each other, and to be encouraged—on the phone, in the next room, on the front porch, in emails, in notecards, in video chats. This is the fruit of the Spirit.
I cherish memories of people reaching out in simple ways. Long ago, on a day when I was feeling down, a Lewinsville member happened to call, thanking me for a small project I had done at church. She and I were Sunday-morning-smiling acquaintances, but we’d never had a conversation. Her brief call pulled apart the clouds of my interior sky. The sweet surprise of it woke me up to the power of simple connections. I believe this power is the movement of God’s Spirit. You may feel this in your own spirit as a gentle, persistent nudge to make a contact. Will your outreach be just barely appreciated, or gratefully welcomed? We don’t know! But that uncertainty never stopped Jesus from reaching out, over and over again. He knew that the Spirit of God was upon him. God’s Spirit is also upon us! We hear this proclaimed with joy, in baptism. May we respond, whether boldly or gently, to the loving call of the Spirit of God.
Gracious God, help me to be more open to your gentle tugs upon my spirit. Let the fruit of your Spirit grow and ripen within me, that I may offer your compassion to the hungry in heart. Open me every day, to reach out with your love. In the name of the one whom your love has sent to us, Jesus our Lord, Amen.