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Greetings on this the sixth week of the Easter season as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it means for us in our lives.
We have also begun the gardening season here in Alberta. And this has led me to reflect on how we are growing our spiritual communities as we hopefully come out of this winter of isolation during the pandemic.
What is it that we're trying to produce? How are we working together as a community of faith to help the fruit of God's Spirit to grow in the lives of individual Christians and also in our community as a whole?
Are we growing with a deeper gratitude for all that God has given us in our life of prayer and worship? Are we growing with a deeper exploration of the Scriptures? Are we growing with a deeper knowledge and understanding of what God has said to us? Are we growing with a deeper love and appreciation for one another as brothers and sisters in our community of faith?
Are we reaching out to our friends and our neighbors and family to extend an expression of God's love? Are we ready to share the good news of Jesus with others around us? Are we growing more strong in the expression of our faith, through action in the world, in our neighborhoods in our communities, to help to relieve stress and pain and poverty? Are we doing more to enact that love and mercy and justice that we see in Jesus Christ?
In our Gospel reading for this past Sunday Jesus says to His disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus on a number of occasions talked about bearing good fruit for God. St. Paul talks about the fruits of the Spirit being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
These are some ideas about what it is that God intends for us in the outward expression of our faith, and, being transformed by the renewal of our minds. As we celebrate the Easter season of resurrection, let us be reminded that resurrection is all about a new creation and about making us new.