‘By their fruits shall you know them’ – Vicar’s weekly thought for 16th Dec

‘By their fruits shall you know them’ [1]

A very familiar saying of Jesus, still sometimes used today! The trouble is, He wasn’t talking about crystallized fruits with a soft centre in a nice Christmas box! You see, God isn’t a tame God, and the holy God wants us to bear the true fruit of his Holy Spirit. You know them – ‘love, joy, peace, peace, patience, kindness……[2]

Wouldn’t they be lovely to hang on your Christmas tree!? Ah yes, but they aren’t so easy to come into our lives, if you really stop to think about them! They can mean forgiving others who have hurt you, coming with a peaceful heart when others are full of anger. They can also mean the costly business of giving to those who need, sharing with those who are hungry, acting with honesty and ntegrity when others don’t…… Today we hear more from John the Baptist, spelling this out in practical terms and it’s uncomfortable listening! Well I don’t know about you, but I want to have my heart transformed, so I can live in this Kingdom of God way, to shine in God’s world. Fortunately John said there was One coming who would ‘baptize us in the Holy Spirit’ [3]
(and with fire!). One who can change us from the inside out so we might still sing, in these ‘dark streets shineth The everlasting light.’
[1] Matthew 7.16; [2] for the full list see Galatians 5.22-23; [3] Luke 3.16