A Fruitful Life
What does a fruitful life look like? We spent some time exploring this question in Children’s Chapel this past Sunday. More specifically, we looked at the fruits of the Spirit as Paul lists them in Galatians 5:22: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, generosity, gentleness, and self-control.
These are pretty broad concepts. How do we talk about them with kids in a way that is neither cloyingly sing-songy nor hopelessly abstract? Fortunately, I was able to build on the amazing work of my fellow Godly Play trainer, Becki Stewart, and use different objects to help ground the discussion.
How do we depict joy, for instance? It’s a deeper reality than a smiley face can convey. It’s like the happiness we feel when we can finally do something we’ve been practicing for a long time, but it’s not limited to that. A sweet kind of sadness can be found in joy sometimes too. There’s a kind of surrender in joy – a release of the reins and a willingness to treasure what is right in front of us. Here’s how we pictured joy:
For faithfulness, we used a rock. Rocks are solid and strong. They’re not easily broken. When we’re faithful, we are rock steady. We reflect (however faintly) the faithfulness of God, “our Rock and our Redeemer.” You get the idea.
I wonder what images you would use to depict kindness, for example, or gentleness? The question currently up on the chalkboard outside our church is “What does peace look like?” How might you convey peace without words?
At the end of the lesson, I asked the kids which fruit grew most easily inside them. Some said kindness; many said joy. When I asked which one was hardest for them, almost all of them said self-control (and I saw nods from many of their parents as well.)
I wonder which fruit of the Spirit grows most easily in you? I wonder which one has the hardest time taking root?
The good news is that we’re promised all of them. Some might have a longer growing season. Some might need more light than this stage of our lives can offer. We might need to share some of our harvest when others are experiencing rough weather and be willing to accept others’ gifts when the rough weather comes our way. But the harvest is on its way too. Here’s to cultivating a fruitful life...