This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
That summer of teaching, back in 2010, I got to practice some creativity. Each week had a different theme or craft that was decided by the school. I wanted to make sure I added some things as well. I counted and discovered that there were nine weeks to that summer session, give or take (there might have been a few days at the beginning or end, I can’t remember anymore). And I knew that there are nine fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians. So each week, we talked about a different one.
I’m not sure it stuck with the kids very well, and I’m not sure if I actually stayed with it all the way until the end. I may have also missed some when I was gone to Minnesota and Nebraska. But the idea was there.
I did mention in my first post that sometimes I will use assigned themes for each day of the week:
- Sunday – Love
- Monday – Joy
- Tuesday – Faith
- Wednesday – Hope
- Thursday – Grace
- Friday – Peace
- Saturday – Truth
There’s a method to this “madness,” and no, it isn’t actually taken from the fruit of the Spirit, though some of the words line up. Actually, all but one are stolen from my nieces’ and nephew’s middle names. My sister has five daughters and one son, and the Monday through Saturday references are their middle names in order of age from oldest to youngest. I added “Love” for Sunday myself.
Why Love? Why on Sunday?
As Christians, we worship on Sundays. The Sabbath day of rest for the people of the Old Testament was on Saturday, the same day God rested after creating the world. But Sunday is the day that Jesus rose from the dead, so that significance changed EVERYTHING for Christians. Love is the ultimate gift God gave through His Son. He loved us so much that He gave up EVERYTHING for us.
For a few years now, I’ve had these words on my google calendar, adding Truth on Saturday after the last one was born over a year ago. Before that, I think Saturday was noted by Sabbath. Most of the time, I skate right past the words to get to the agenda for the day, but sometimes they will catch my eye and help me refocus my attention on what really matters. Today, on Sunday, that means love. It means loving God, and loving my neighbor. It means showing love AND receiving it.
So often love get equated with romantic ideals and cute hearts and terribly cheesy movies (which I love watching, but that’s another story for another time). But honestly, love is so much more. I’m not a biblical languages scholar, but I’m pretty sure there are several Greek words in the New Testament that all get translated into our one English word, “love.” There’s probably even more Hebrew words in the Old Testament. And we use love in some strange ways.
I love you.
I love pizza!
Ooh, I loved that book.
Think about song lyrics, and all of the ways love gets expressed. Think about hymns and Bible verses, and how God gave the ultimate expression of love. Think about the ways you personally use or don’t use that word, based on your own experiences and hangups and relationships and feelings.
I for one, am not great at saying the words. My poor husband doesn’t hear it nearly enough. So please allow me to say it here for him (since written expression comes more naturally to me than spoken):
I LOVE YOU, HONEY!!
Next post coming tomorrow.