Holy Pie – 5-15-24

You can listen to this reflection here. Sunday’s gospel reading is here

When I start reading what St. Paul has to say about the Holy Spirit, I soon get to thinking about pie. Why’s that, you ask? Because there’s a lot of talk about fruit and filling!

St. Paul had much to say about the Holy Spirit – the Spirit’s function in the life of the church; the gifts, or charisms, given to us by the Spirit; the way the more charismatic of the charisms should be lived out in worship and community; and the fruit and the filling (“… be filled with the Spirit…” Eph 5:18). Paul said he accompanied his proclamation of the Good News with signs of the power we’re given as heirs to the Gospel: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (I Cor 2:4-5)

It is the Spirit’s power that makes our message and our ministry effective at opening hearts and making peace and calling forth justice. The Spirit equips us with the gifts and character we need as saints of the Living God on an ongoing basis. There are personality traits that Paul called “the fruit of the Spirit”:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a).

Human beings are capable of such attributes without God, I’m sure – but not often, and rarely in a sustained manner. When we truly allow the Holy Spirit to fill and transform us, we find ourselves manifesting these fruits in a way that surprises us and the people around us. We can tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and depression meds when someone who’s always been downcast becomes a person of joy. Likewise, when someone known for her temper develops forbearance, you know God is up to something.

What if we were to make a list of these “fruits” Paul names, adding ones we feel are missing, like humility. Then we might do an inventory, noting the levels of each of these we feel we possess – give it a number or fill in a circle with a rough percentage. Have you experienced more of any of these since you became more conscious about following Jesus? Which are the attributes you particularly crave? We could revisit the list periodically, check our “levels.”

God desires that each of us experience this fruit. And we don’t get the fruit without the filling. One way we get Spirit-filled, allowing God to sow the seeds of these traits in us, is to intentionally invite the Spirit to take up residence in us. That prayer is as simple as “Come, Holy Spirit!” It is a prayer I utter frequently before and during worship, or when my spirits are low, or at times when I realize I’m trying to do something on my own. If we could get to the point where that prayer rose up in us all through the day, as well as spending lengthier times bathing in the Spirit’s love and peace, we’d find ourselves both filled and fruitful.

In my experience, the Spirit is an eager guest, but one who awaits our invitation. She does not insist or break down the door. He doesn’t even knock all that hard, just is happy when we say, “Oh, I forgot you were there. Please come in… Have some pie?”

© Kate Heichler, 2024. To receive Water Daily by email each morning, subscribe hereHere are the bible readings for next Sunday. Water Daily is also a podcast – subscribe to it here on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast platform.

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