Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day on which the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, the day on which was launched the large-scale spreading of the Gospel after Jesus' ascension, the day which is considered the "birthday" of the church and which is marked by the colour red, symbolizing the fire of the Holy Spirit. It was a joy to see so much red scattered here and there in the congregation.
During today's time with the children, Christine spoke about birthdays and what sorts of things are associated with them. The children talked about cake and ice cream and presents and friends and balloons. Christine took them up on this theme and presented them with a deflated balloon. It had the right shape and the right form, of course, but was flat...something was missing! She walked the children through the recitation of the fruit of the Spirit which she likened to the breath of joy and life needed to inflate the balloon and by the same token, needed to bring joy and life to the church. A remarkable reminder of what is needed to keep us all from bringing lip-service only or being "flat" and of the glory of a full life of worship and service.
May I reiterate the words of Galatians 5:22, 23a: The fruit of the Spirit is joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And may I humbly ask God to grant each of us the fruit of the Spirit today and always.