Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Sermon – July 1, 2007
“Fruits of the Spirit”
I’d like to invite the kids to come up so we can together explain today’s first Bible reading to the grownups.
Jesus’ friend, St. Paul, talks about bad things we should say “no” to and good things we should say “yes” to. He gives a list of some of those bad things, which are some of the sins people commit instead of loving God and loving their neighbors as themselves.
St Paul’s list is written on a shirt I have in this (sealed, plastic) bag. Shall we see what it’s like? (I open the bag. The shirt has been wrapped in fish papers and squirted with lemon juice and hot sauce.) Yuck! Anyone want to hold this close and study it? From this we know that SIN STINKS! Let’s say that together: “Sin stinks.” Anyone want to eat anything that tastes like this? (Responses.)
Well, let’s see what’s in the OTHER bag. Aha! I think we have some of the Fruit of the Spirit St. Paul talks about. If we love God and others, the Holy Spirit will guide us and bless us!
Let’s see…we have a lemon, which reminds us of love. I love to squeeze lemons because then we get…lemonade! And we have lots of juice which reminds us of joy, and a peach for peace, a pear for patience, a kiwi for kindness, a grapefruit for generosity, fruit salad for faithfulness, a Granny Smith apple for gentleness (anybody have a gentle Granny?) and strawberries for self-control.
Does everyone have a hold of one of the fruits? Say nice and loud the fruit you have and the spiritual fruit it reminds us of. (They respond.) Now, grownups, let’s all say these together, physical and spiritual fruits, as the kids hold these up one by one. (All respond.)
Anybody like to have this (hold up the smelly bag) for a snack at coffee hour? (Responses.) Anyone like to join me in having some fruit at coffee hour? (Responses.) And the best thing is – the more you have of the spiritual fruit, the more you get, and they are as delicious and nutritious as physical fruits!
(The Rev.) Francis A. Hubbard
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey