February Pastor’s Pondering

I find their conduct appalling.

Maybe it is time to revisit what life in the Spirit looks like.  Maybe we, as followers of Jesus Christ, need to be reminded of the model for living that is taught in Holy Scripture.

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians identifies nine “Fruits of the Spirit.”  These “fruits” are the outward signs of inward grace with which we are blessed when we seek to truly live as Jesus taught.  They are guiding principles which should govern our day-to-day living and serve as examples to others who witness our conduct.

The “Fruits of the Spirit” include love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

What we saw unfold in our nation’s Capitol was the very antithesis of these “fruits.”  What was done in the name of Jesus Christ did not represent Christianity or Christian conduct in any way.

Instead of love, the conduct was driven by hate.  Instead of joy, we witnessed anger.  Peace was replaced by violence.  Forbearance (patience and tolerance) was absent.  Kindness was drowned out by murderous chants.  Goodness was assaulted by evil.  Faithfulness became lawlessness.  Gentleness morphed into brutality.  Self-control was completely absent.

The life of Jesus Christ represented nothing we saw that horrifying day.  Yet some, somehow, continue to link these evil acts with the faith we cherish.  I am not one of them!

By chance, I write these thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. Day; a day where civil rights and the right to peacefully protest is affirmed.  Christians have a right, indeed a responsibility, to speak out when injustices occur in our world.  Jesus did this often as he upheld the principles found in the “Fruits of the Spirit.”  But the extent of his “violence” never escalated past the act of turning over the tables of those denigrating the temple courts – a far cry from the violence we saw in Washington, DC.

We are called to bring the world love, hope, peace, and joy.  May the people of the world see the “Fruits of the Spirit” in the lives we live, every day and always.

Blessings,

Pastor Will

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