On the third day of Christmas, my Father gave to me, joy, peace, goodness, and all the gifts of the Spirit so through me, others would see, the heart of Christ my savior, come to set me free.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5:23-23
The fruit of the Spirit is one of those things we talk about as Christians and that we know the Bible promises us, but how many of us really live our lives like we possess these traits? And, how many of us remember them and that we are supposed to have them within us no matter what problems, stresses or worries come in to our lives?
Notice that Paul uses the fruit as a singular noun. That is not by accident. These are not individual fruits. These are qualities that all Christians should have and they are one of the ways we are supposed to know that we are set apart and that the Holy Spirit indwells us.
It’s easy most days to have one or two of these, but on a day like yesterday (12/14/12) when as the Connecticut Governor said “Evil has visited us today.” it is difficult to find peace and faithfulness in the aftermath of something so seemingly senseless. But that is who we as Christians are called to be. If we don’t bear the fruit and show it to those around us, then how can we expect non-believers to want to have what we have.
Especially in such a time as this when our hearts are broken for the victims, their families, their friends and their town, we have to be the calm in the storm. That doesn’t mean we don’t cry or mourn along with the people directly affected, but it does mean that we show the fruit to them so that they, too, can find it.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.” While it may be hard to see the God of Christmas in the events of yesterday, He is still on the throne. He is still Lord and He still is in control. That has not changed.
My prayer for the next year is that I will accept anew this gift from Jesus and that not just at Christmas, but throughout the coming days and years, I will display peace, joy, love, gentleness, kindness, and self-control and that the change will be so apparent that others will ask me what it is that makes me different.
This is one gift of Christmas I think some of us take for granted. May our gift to our Lord this Christmas be that we don’t ignore it but rather embrace it in His truth and His love.