Something to Read: Galatians 5:22-23 The Message
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
SOMETHING TO THINK: Basic holiness permeates things and people.
This has been a terribly sad week for us all here in Aotearoa New Zealand. We have seen racism, intolerance and hatred – but that evil did not win. This past week we have also seen the seeds of love and aroha expressed by so many New Zealanders. We have seen the fruit of the spirit – and this gives hope.
The above verses are the well-known ‘Fruit of the Spirit” reading and they outline what happens when people follow Jesus’ teachings. In this very sad time where emotions are running all over the place, may we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Other Bible translations put the fruit as ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’. These result in the conviction that basic holiness permeates in people. This holiness permeates in people that are different to us. In people of different cultures, in people with different skin colour, in people who have different theology, in people that have different religions. May we see holiness permeating in those different to us. And may we allow the Spirit to reveal any negative intolerances in our own hearts.
SOMETHING TO PRAY: Prayed last Sunday by Professor Murray Rae
Lord we are deeply saddened by what has taken place in our midst. We acknowledge our feelings of anger that an evil man has wrought such destruction among us and brought us all so low. We come before you with our anger, with our sorrow, and also with our confession that we have work to do ourselves to overcome those feelings of intolerance and suspicion and mistrust that we find at times within our own hearts and minds. We need your help, O Lord. We need your help. Do not delay, we pray, in bringing your aid to all of us, and especially to the Muslim community with whom we mourn today. Amen.
Psalms 63: 1–8 and Romans 15:1-13