The Fruit of the Holy Spirit

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

The fruit of the Holy Spirit are the 9 attributes of a person and a community who live in accord with the Holy Spirit. St. Paul lists these attributes in his letter to the Galatians:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galations 5:22-23

In my school in California, we have decided to use the fruit of the Holy Spirit as our theme for the school year 2020/21. The specific theme for the month of August was designated as Love, September was Joy, October is Peace, and so on until May, which will again be a ‘book end’ of Love at the end of the school year.

It so happened that I had been given a gift of ‘Blessing Stickers’ from my Taiwanese friend during the summer. These stickers display the fruit of the spirit in both English and Mandarin, along with cute little birdies and flowers. This gave me the idea to ask students and friends for their translation of the fruit of the spirit in their very own ‘heart language’ (isn’t ‘heart language’ such a beautiful and preferable term for ‘native tongue’?).

I am humbled to say that I have already been able to collect translations in Japanese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean, Hindi (many of our students’ families originally come from Asia), French, Spanish, and Arabic (thank you Celine, Sonia, and Mirna). I am still waiting for a translation into German;) and I would love to receive more heart language translations from you if you feel led (click here to get in touch or comment below). I am using them in my chapel presentations.

Someone asked me, ‘Why don’t you just translate them yourself with the help of Google?’ This would of course be quicker and more efficient. The problem is, however, I might translate the equivalence of ‘forbearance’ for ‘patience’, as found in my Blessing Stickers. When was the last time you used the word ‘forbearance’? I suspect, like me, a very long time ago if at all. And so I wait, patiently, for more translations from real people with heart languages.

After this rather long preamble, I would now like to get to the focus of this meditation. In fact, there are two foci:

The first is I wonder how our family life, church life, work life, socio/political life would be transformed if it was indeed characterized by the attributes of Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-Control? I wonder how I/we would be able to transform my/our family, church, work, city if I/we consistently show up with Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-Control? since each and every one of these attributes is others-focused.

Holy Spirit, please help me to be fruitful.
Holy Spirit, please help us to be fruitful together.

The second is the wonder of how we are all so wonderfully different, as exemplified in our diversely written heart languages and heard in our unique dialects and tones of voice. Yet we are all the same, united by Jesus.

Jesus, please help us to see each other through Your eyes.
Jesus, please help us to speak Your heart language with one another.

Finally, let us ask our Heavenly Father in this season to help us to conspire ‘with Him how to load and bless with fruit’ those around us, and for Him to ‘fill all fruit with ripeness to the core’…

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with Him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core…
John Keats

“That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us”

John 17:11

Today’s Midweek Meditation was written by a member of the ACF who now lives in the United States and is greatly missed in our community in Freiburg.

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