Summer Fruits

Pastoral Messages | June 13, 2024

The fruits of our labor tend to flourish in the summertime. Students who have dedicated themselves to hours of study finally graduate to the next grade level or receive their diplomas. Teachers bid farewell to the students they’ve impacted and helped to develop and grow, and for many organizations, their fiscal year ends in the summertime, hopefully indicating a year well done.

Summer fruits, like fresh berries, juicy watermelon, and ripe cherries, are a testament to the hard work of farmers and gardeners. We owe our enjoyment and nourishment to their dedication. We know all too well about the joys of fresh fruit, and when that fruit is worth eating or tossing out. Before we even take a bit, we get to know the ripeness and health of a fruit by its appearance. The color, size, shape, and surface condition make a fruit appealing, indicating whether it’s healthy to consume. Then, as we take hold of the fruit, we get to know its texture, firmness, juiciness, and smoothness or roughness. If it passes those initial tests, we take a bite and know the fruit based on its sweetness, tartness, or even its aroma, all indicators as to whether the fruit will lend itself to our nourishment.

When Jesus spoke about spiritual growth, nourishment, and the qualities of our inner selves, he often compared it with fruit. “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.” (Luke 6:43-44)

The quality of the fruit we bear as humans begins with our inward lives. If we are regularly aware of God’s love for us and for the world, then we participate in the quality of God’s love and bring it into the world, which we then express through our actions. The way we walk, talk, respond, and take initiative will have its roots in Christ’s love, and that tree will bear fruit. You will bear fruit.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

As we venture into a rich and life-giving season of summer, we have an opportunity to reflect on our relationship with God and the kind of fruit our life is yielding. The fruit of the Spirit, Paul says, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This Spirit fruit is one fruit that embodies all these qualities, and it’s that Spirit that can produce within us nourishment for our own spiritual yields.

So as you continue to grow through your work, study, relationships, and other goals, also ponder with me how we can become more readily open to the movement of God’s Spirit of unconditional love in our lives so that our lives become trees that bear fruit for the nourishment of all whom we encounter.

-Max Franks, pastor in residency

2 Comments on “Summer Fruits”

  • Anke Maass

    June 19, 2024 at 3:41 pm

    Great message!

  • Marcia Willi

    June 13, 2024 at 2:00 pm

    A good message, Max! We definitely want to “ bear fruit “ so we can keep doing the work Christ sets out for us

Leave a Comment