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"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit."   (Matthew 7: 16-18)

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! March is here, coming in like a lion, as they say, and hopefully going out like a lamb! As days lengthen and temperatures climb we can look forward to leaves appearing on the trees, and the chirping of the birds.

As I was reflecting this morning, preparing to go to the office it occurred to me that certain things are dependable. Seasons come in their due time. Orange trees always yield oranges, not apples. For that matter, plants always send their roots into the ground and their branches into the air, toward the source of light. That’s the way god made them, and they never argue with God. Dogs seem to be almost as predictable. They wag their tale when happy, eat anything put before them without complaining, and try to make their master happy. That’s what dogs do. As I was reflecting on these facts I began to wonder why the same is not always true for us Christians?

The Scriptures are full of stories of disobedient kings, reluctant prophets (Jonah), and an entire nation grumbling after being released from slavery in Egypt. First Israel saw the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army closing in, and they complained. After God parts the Red Sea, drowning the Egyptian army, they complain about lack of water, and later food. Then they complain about the manna, and so the story continues, for forty years!

Doesn’t that describe our life at times? Is that the fruit God expects from us? Complaining, envy, anger, bitterness, and hurt feelings is not what God wants for us, but we choose them anyway. Paul tells the Galatians, and us, that if we truly follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in love and trust our fruits will be different. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, and self-control.” I invite you to that life in the Sprit that yields these fruits!

In His Name,
Pastor Monk

Scalp Level Trinity United Methodist Church Scalp Level Trinity United Methodist Church