Today is the last in my series on the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. It’s on love.
As a neurodiverse person, I’ve had a somewhat reluctant relationship with the word “love.” Growing up, people usually described it in terms of emotions that I either didn’t experience, or didn’t experience in the ways that everyone else did.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: love (a poem)
Honestly, I didn’t know where I was going to begin with today’s poem.
I’d been told plenty of times before that joy is not the same as happiness and that you can have joy even when you’re not happy. As I wrestled to make sense of this, I concluded that joy must be like a sense of inner security that one carries in all circumstances. But isn’t that what peace is about?
I think joy is much more about delight and appreciation.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: joy (a poem)
Today’s word is peace.
I’m almost embarrassed to write about peace, given that I can be anxious so often. I don’t want to write something that feels disconnected from our present reality, and yet I believe most surely that God’s peace has a completeness and depth that will surpasses everything we could hope for.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: peace (a poem)
Once again, I’ve taken out my concordance and found out some surprising facts about the New Testament Greek.
I like to think of patience as “love waiting”, as something that exists in its own right separate from any sense of sin or fallenness. But it’s still true that most of the uses of “patience” in the Bible are linked to the world not (yet) being as it should be.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: patience (a poem)
There is nothing like kindness to cement a friendship.
It’s that feeling of “you didn’t have to do this” that makes it so memorable. The kindness might be a gift in a moment of need, a gentle steer away from a pitfall you didn’t know was there, or someone accommodating you when you make a mistake.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: kindness (a poem)
Once again, I’m struck by how much I discover when I get out my concordance and start looking at the Greek words.
Take, for example, Jesus’s words in Matthew 7:17 where he says that every “good” tree bears “good” fruit. These are two different words in the Greek, but many English translations render both words as “good”.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: goodness (a poem)
Faithfulness is such a big word. I think if there’s one thing, just one thing that God wants us to know about him, it’s that he is someone who fulfils his good promises. And of course, faithfulness is a huge part of that.
As I sat and considered the word in more detail, five words came to me:
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: faithfulness (a poem)
For the next few weeks, I’m running a series on the virtues described as the fruit the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. I started with self-control last week, and this week is gentleness.
I found out some interesting things about the Greek word translated as “gentleness”. The word is πραύτης meaning “meekness”, “gentleness” or “humility” and it’s the same word used in the beatitudes in Matthew 5:5 (“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”).
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: gentleness (a poem)
For the next few weeks, I want to run a series on the virtues described as the fruit the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. I’m starting with self-control.
So often, I hear self-control described in terms of hemming ourselves in, or resisting ungodly tendencies. Yet these descriptions feel lacking to me, as they can only have meaning in the context of sin. The other eight virtues all stand in their own right as expressions that will have a place in God’s kingdom when all sin is done away with.
I did, however, find one notable exception to the rule.
Continue reading Songs of the Spirit: self-control (a poem)
Pentecost is often celebrated as the birthday of the church. We remember how the Holy Spirit came in power upon the apostles, how they preached in Jerusalem and how everyone heard them praising God in their mother-tongue. The story is recorded in Acts 2.
Pentecost, if you didn’t know, is so named because it’s the fiftieth day after Passover; it marks the festival of first fruits in the Jewish calendar (Deuteronomy 16:9-12), which is why there were so many Jews in Jerusalem.
For myself, I think one of the most important things about the Holy Spirit that I’ve come to reckon with, is that the Holy Spirit is a person.
Continue reading Air, fire, water, clay (a poem celebrating the Holy Spirit)