[Galatians] Energies of the Spirit

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
 Galatians 5:22

For too long when I imagined the gifts of the spirit, I saw bowls of fruit. An apple labelled Love. A banana stamped with Forbearance. A half melon holding kindness. Together they contributed to the bowlful of things that make up a good life.

The fruit bowl image distracted me from seriously considering these capacities as powerful actions or energies that can shift outcomes in my life and in the life of the world.

These energies are produced by the Spirit. They are as fierce as they are tender. It takes courage to work with them. If we try to draw upon them from our human strength alone, we will fail. They belong to flesh and spirit.

We are part of an energy, a web, a gift economy bigger than ourselves. We draw on this when we realize we need to be more kind to our bodies, when we need to be more loving in our thinking and judgement, when we need to be good to our neighbours, and the ones who annoy us in grocery stores, or who make rude comments online. Something helps us be kind. Something helps us forebear. Something helps us be gentle. Something helps us en-joy. We can trust this.

Even when we aren’t any of these things or fail miserably at one or another, the capacity to be any one or all of them is not diminished. We start each day with fresh stores of these energies of the spirit. We can trust this too.

It is a practice. Settle into yourself. Feel your-self as a worthy container of any one of these fruits or energies. Breath in some aspect of the pain of the planet. Perhaps you just finished reading the paper or listening to the news and something broke your heart a little bit. Breath in the pain. You may feel the sensation of your heart opening. Now breath out one of the fruits or energies of the spirit. Pick one that offers relief or consolation. Put it out there are as good news in daily life. Through you, by the Spirit, it is gift to the world. It may change you too.

“Blogging one verse from each book of the Bible.”

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  1. I read this as I’m pondering “stories of call” in our Bible readings….. you make it so obvious… the stirring of call is this same energizing spirit… with “capacities as powerful actions or energies that can shift outcomes in my life and in the life of the world.” thank you for these words this day. May we all have a Spirit filled day!

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