“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience… (Galatians 5:22)
People often say that they need to have more patience. Well, we all do. But are we willing to allow God to work in our lives in such a way as to develop it? We think that God is going to one day supernaturally give us more patience, but…(psssst) that’s not how it works! God does not spoon out patience just to keep us happy. Patience is the end result of a faith where we allow the Spirit control in our life.
First of all, there is patience that equips us to endure all things. The apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” (Ephesians 3:16). The Spirit can enable us to endure difficulty.
And the Spirit can gift us with patience in our lives. The same Spirit that can equips us to endure difficult problems, can also enable us to endure difficult people. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12-13)
In Galatians 5:22, notice that it is ‘fruit’ (singular) and not ‘fruits’ (plural) of the Spirit. Many believe that by Paul’s use of a singular noun, he was emphasizing that we cannot pick and choose which part of the fruit we want to demonstrate. In other words, you can’t become a more patient person without becoming a more loving person. Perhaps the main reason we are not more patient with some people is because we do not love them. In our recent awakening to racial understanding and acceptance and education, we have to understand that we can’t learn anything without including love as our core. And remember “Love is patient and kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Paul does not place patience before love, but rather, love before patience. Is he trying to teach us that we cannot experience more patience until we first experience more love?
If that is the case, then perhaps what we should be asking for is love instead of patience. After all, it’s not nearly as hard to be patient with those we really love.
CHURCH REOPENING INFORMATION
After careful discussion, for the safety and health of our Congregation, our Church Council and all committees have decided that we will continue our FACEBOOK LIVE services through the month of July and not re-open the church for live in person services.
The pandemic has taught us that we need to be cautious and safe, and at this moment, we are not at the point where we can be sure of your safety and health. We will re-visit the issue towards the end of July, and consider the possibility of offering an outdoor worship service, perhaps even some weekday evening someplace where we can ensure social distancing.
We are guided by medical science, with input and information from our UCC Conference to make our own decisions. Right now, it’s the right decision to make and I thank all of our church members who have wrestled with these difficult decisions in faith and love.