by Lynace Pabst Veit
Scripture: Galatians 5:1, 13-25
This week’s reading is the familiar story from the book of Galatians about the Fruit of the Spirit. I suggest using the version from the Shine On story bible to read as a family.
Paul wrote to the people of Galatia:
My brothers and sisters, God wants you to be free! But do not use your freedom only for yourself. You must serve each other lovingly. There is one commandment that sums up all the rules of our faith: Love your neighbor as yourself. Those who follow Jesus Christ think of others instead of just thinking about themselves.
Feed your spirit, not just your body.
Treat each other with respect.
Worship God, not idols.
Instead of thinking you are better than others, show kindness.
Instead of showing jealousy, show love.
Instead of arguing, listen to each other.
Showing God’s spirit is like being a tree that bears good fruits. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Let us all let the Spirit grow in us and bear fruit. When we live this way, we show that we belong to Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is a gift from God that helps us think and act like Jesus. It helps us love our neighbors and enables us to think of others instead of just thinking of ourselves. When we are filled with the Spirit others can tell. The Spirit changes us and produces visible signs that we are being more like Jesus. We call these visible signs “fruit” because fruit is an outward sign of a healthy living plant. Fruit is tasty to eat. Fruit is beautiful to look at. Fruit nourishes our body. The “fruit” of the Spirit is an outward sign of a healthy, Spirit nourished soul. When we bear good “fruit” we show that we belong to Jesus Christ.
Galatia is in modern day Turkey. Common fruits of the region are apricots, cherries, mandarin oranges, dates, blackberries, and quince. As a family, see which of these fruits you can find at your local grocery store. Gather around your dinner table and have a “Fruits of the Spirit Feast”. Take time for each family member to share in the Fruit Feast. Some fruits may be new and different to your family. Maybe have a world map available to show where Galatia (Turkey) can be found. As you feast, remember the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Talk about each of these fruit. How do you share each fruit with others? What fruit do you struggle bearing? Taste the goodness of the ripe fruit before you. Imagine then, what it would be like to experience the ripeness of love, joy, patience, and kindness with others?
I wonder which of these “fruits” you find the easiest to show to others?…
I wonder which of these “fruits” you find the hardest to show others?…
I wonder what fruit you will bear this week?…
Generous and loving God
You gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit
and the fruit it bears.
May the Spirit grow in each of us
and bear good fruit
as we show everyone we belong to Jesus Christ.
*Resources: SHINE ON A Story Bible published by Brethren Press and If I Could Ask God Anything by Kathryn Slattery
Lynace Pabst Veit is the Director of Children and Family Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. She is a wife, mother, and second generation Christian Educator.