Pentecost is so big, such an amazing mystery that I decided to devote the next several blogs to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I was surprised to find that there is a controversy regarding how many fruits of the Spirit there are!
In Galatians 5 nine fruits are listed, though in many other places (primarily Catholic) there are 12, apparently there was a fairly heated debate back when the Vulgate Bible was translated and that’s when the protestants went with 9 and the Catholics 12. Everyone essentially agrees on the 9: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control though the Catholics define things differently and that seems to be where things get mixed up.
Not surprisingly I am going to start with Joy. Actually, with the practice of Awakening Joy in ourselves and in our children, many of theses ideas we have covered in the last several weeks but now we are going to take a slightly different approach and I will be referencing:
The concepts are really very simple. Adults for example are encouraged to take a couple of minutes (seriously, like 3), close your eyes and in your mind’s eye see something/someone for which you are grateful. The object of your gratitude doesn’t need to be anything huge, in fact probably the smaller the better – for instance like how good your coffee was this morning. Take those few minutes and truly appreciate it. Remember with your whole body how much you enjoyed that coffee and how grateful you are for the experience.
We are encouraged to actively teach our children the art of gratitude. Again, the activities are quite simple, such as taking some time dinner or before bed to talk about something/someone your child was truly grateful for that day. Help them think about they felt when they were realized they were grateful for that person, that experience or that thing; then help them savor that feeling again; help them deeply appreciate that for which they are grateful.
Simple things, done with great love and gratitude.
Director of Children & Young Family Ministries