The readings for Pentecost Sunday this year are:
Early Thoughts: Many years ago, when I was in Junior Choir, we did a musical called the Music Machine. The premise was that there was a magical machine that would create a song about anything you put into it. Then they put in it a passage of scripture and we get a series of songs about the Fruits of the Spirit. That was my first introduction to this concept from Scripture (and I can remember snippets of some of the songs too--particularly the one about patience!)
Somewhere in my parent's house is this album that we bought around the time we did the show:
But since I probably should do something beyond playing the songs of the album...
In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus is recorded as saying (Matthew 7:15-20):
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits."Paul teaches that in Christ we are people of the Spirit, we are people who have received the Spirit. Paul also suggests that maybe if we are living by the Spirit people should be able to tell. Which do your lives show more, the works of the flesh or the fruits of the Spirit? Maybe we don't always want to know the answer to that question.
The story of Pentecost reminds us that while the central story of the Christian community is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the power that pushes us onward is the breath of the Spirit, the same breath that blows over the primordial soup at the beginning of Genesis, the same breath that inspires the prophets, that descends on Jesus at his baptism. The Spirit of God is what changes and feeds our lives as people of faith -- if we let it.
We are known by our actions, by our words, by our fruitfulness. Do people look at us and see things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?