Hi friends! Today we consider the next fruit of the spirit according to Paul - gentleness. What do you think of when you think of gentleness? For me, I think of when you're handing something to a child - such as a baby sibling or a puppy - and you urge them to handle the object with gentleness. Why do we give precious things to children who are not always the most careful and delicate? It's an act of trust as much as its an invitation to share with someone you love something that you love. In other words, it is saying "let us love this, together." I think the same concept is true with God and humans. Why would God give us free domain over all other life (Genesis 1:26-28) if God knows - like children - how clumsy we are. As people, corrupted by forces of sin, we constantly hurt one another, hurt the world through climate injustice, and hurt God with our wavering faith. And yet, God continues to make all things new (Isaiah 43:19) staying faithful to God's hope in the world and in God's people. I believe that God did not give us dominion over the Earth but rather, like a parent handing a child a precious thing, gave us an invitation to love the world together.
Starting next week we'll be spending two weeks on stewardship to go along with our stewardship campaign so I don't want to dwell too much into the stewardship idea now, but, everything you've received in this life can be traced to God. God led you to the people you've loved and still love, God has led you to develop skills that led to your job. God has entrusted you with family and friends and even complete strangers. God has entrusted you to care for this earth. In other words, God has entrusted you to love what God loves and to be gentle with it as it is an object to revere, not exploit. In our heated political climate I think this remains ever true.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What are you gentle with? How gentle are you with yourself?
What does it mean to be gentle in your own words? How is that a faithful response?
Praying the Hymns
Our hymn for today is called 'Spirit of Gentleness.' This is found in our Faith We Sing hymn book. I find it appropriate for our consideration today. :)
Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free, Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.
1 You moved on the waters, you called to the deep, then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep; and over the eons you called to each thing: ""Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.""
2 You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand, and you goaded your people with a law and a land; and when they were blinded with idols and lies, then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.
3 You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill, then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still; and down in the city you called once again, when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.
4 You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes. From the bondage of sorrow all the captives dream dreams; our women see visions, our men clear their eyes. With bold new decisions your people arise.