…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, self-control…
Today we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus as they huddled together in the Upper Room. Jesus had ascended to the Father and the promised Advocate came to the disciples through wind and tongues of fire, landing on each one individually (today’s first reading—Acts 2:1-21). It must have been quite a scene! The mystery and marvels continued with those receiving the Holy Spirit able to prophesy and speak in languages not their own. Wow, all of it. But, while wondering about what Pentecost means to us today, I’m reminded of the fruits of the Holy Spirit listed here in Galatians. What can we 21st century followers of Jesus hope for when praying for the Holy Spirit in our lives? I believe the Spirit is indwelling within us from the moment of our baptism, so it is less about the Spirit coming to us as it is our realization that the fruits of the Spirit are within us already—there to be tapped into and drawn forth.
I think we can all agree that the world needs much more of the fruits of the Holy Spirit! What if our prayers to the Holy Spirit this Pentecost could result in an increase of love, joy and peace in our lives? And then we could spread that to all our circles of influence and touch other lives? I’ve learned that God rejoices when we pray for the gifts of the Spirit and will readily draw forth those gifts already in our hearts.
…when I get frustrated at school and am hanging on by a thin thread—Holy Spirit, show me your fruit of patience!
…when I find it so difficult to love people who challenge me, disagree with me or just don’t love me back—Holy Spirit, show me your fruit of love!
…when I worry too much about my own financial security and cling too tightly to my own purse strings—Holy Spirit, show me the fruit of generosity and help me share with others.
…when I let mild irritations keep me from treating others with kindness and gentleness—Holy Spirit, show me with these fruits to pass on to others.
…when troubles pile up and joy seems so far away—Holy Spirit, bubble up within me your joy that never depends on my personal circumstances.
…when peace seems impossible in the world—Holy Spirit, show me your peace: the peace the world cannot give. From a place of personal peacefulness, I can extend peace to those around me and the peace can spread like ripples in a pond. Holy Spirit let me begin with the fruit of your peace!
And, finally…when I feel I’m seething just under the surface, Holy Spirit, please show me your fruit of self-control. Like a clutch, let me engage whatever I need to refrain from saying hurtful, mean, judgmental, or even just snarky things.
Pentecost can just be a new color on the liturgical calendar or we can make it a special time to seek in ourselves what the world needs most. While the tongues of flame landing on the disciples must have been a spectacular sight, it’s the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that really made a lasting difference in the world. And that can be the same for us in our day. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, so we would be reminded of his message—his messages to love one another, care for the most vulnerable, and live in complete joy. Let us remember the Holy Spirit dwells within us with the fruits we need to accomplish Jesus’ mission for us in the world.
Let us pray...
Holy Spirit, Promised Comforter and Reminder of all Jesus shared with us,
You dwell within us always. Please draw forth in us the fruits of love, peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, generosity and self- control. Our incredible world needs to see your fruits, and you always give in abundance for us to share. Open our eyes, hearts and minds to ways of sharing your fruits and gifts with others and we thank you for gifting us so well…Amen!