We get told to eat it loads, apparently up to five a day. We can include vegetables in that count, but I think this blog would somehow lose its path if I began talking about vegetables of the spirit…
The New Testament tells us about the nine fruits of the spirit:
“ 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.”
Galations 5: 22-23 (New English Translation)
These fruits are things that we can aspire to bear, aspire to be. ‘Being’ these things help us to be more Christ-like, and to follow in his steps more closely. But this list is by no means, exhaustive. There are many other fruits that we can bear, almost unlimited. At Youth Assembly 2016 during worship, we made some of our own and stuck them to our tree…
Here are some of the other fruits Youth Assembly came up with:
- Stewart the Strawberry of Strength
- Olaf the Orange of Openness
- Peter the Pear of Prayer
- Will the Watermelon of Wisdom
God has granted us all unique gifts, none of which are superior or inferior to others’. We must spend time being close with God to figure out what these gifts are and how we can use them. God only asks us to give all that we can, nothing more. When faced with difficult times, we mustn’t put ourselves down, feeling insufficient to God’s work. Instead, we turn that on its head and say here I am, I’m giving all I can. The Pilots promise says:
I will learn, pray and serve, all I can, with the world wide church of Jesus Christ.
Doesn’t this speak volumes? At the very heart of the URC’s programme for Children and Young People is giving, service and prayer? These are our roots and foundations (I said it!). Whilst so many other things go on in the world that hinder and mislead us, let us not forget to go back to our core values where we can find solid ground on which to build ours and others’ lives, our world and God’s Kingdom.
So how do we do this? Sometimes we have to think a bit outside of the Church. We have to look into our communities and see the potential that already lies there, and what could lie. ‘Actions speak louder than words’, a phrase commonly used, but a phrase that applies so strongly to us in today’s world. Be the change, be the person in your churches, your communities, who makes that difference!
Last week I heard the news that Vicky Beeching, world-renowned Christian singer/songwriter is officially ending her music career by selling her guitars. Whilst this is was a sad day to see one of my favourite musicians retire, it sparked a memory of my favourite song of hers, Break Our Hearts. Have a listen below, particularly to the words. I think they sum up very well what I’ve been speaking about.
Being quite musical myself, a lot of what I think about in the Bible revolves around songs and hymns. It’s both a blessing and a curse, the latter being when I burst out into song at poorly-timed moments! But the song that sprung into my head when writing this blog was I Will Offer Up My Life. Have a listen to it below!