Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Friday, December 15

By Dr. Dwight Wade

Precious Gifts Often Overlooked

Read: Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (NRSV)

Absorbing the evening TV news is particularly wrenching in our era, as much of what is reported rarely reflects goodness. The focus, rather, is on behaviors that are ruthless, accusatory, and even vicious. And yet, there it is before our eyes. For three yuletides we were prisoners of the Coronavirus that stormed our planet. Yes, the virus still shows its grimacing face in one form or another, but let us remember how far we’ve come because of the largesse of our Master. And wouldn’t it be wondrous if we reminded ourselves every day that the immense bequest humanity has received is the birth of our Savior?

One afternoon I paused before the largest window in the chancel. I beheld the astonishing rainbow colors of the massive “Beauty of Holiness,” and the window seemed to dance all around our altar – so brightly that I was transfixed. It struck me then that the primary message of this “Fruit of the Spirit” is a gift to be taken to heart, to be developed with the help of the Spirit working within us. In this window, each of nine “gifts” is depicted within a scene under the curve of the canopy in the three center columns. They are:

LOVE – Jesus welcomes little ones. Let the children come to me … for heaven belongs to such as these.

JOY – Angels announce Jesus’ birth to lowly shepherds: Fear not; for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

PEACE – Jesus calms the storm on the sea, asking: Why are you fearful?

LONG-SUFFERING – Jesus mourns over the city he loves: O Jerusalem killing the prophets … how often would I have gathered thy children together …

GENTLENESS – Jesus takes the hand of Jarius’ daughter, raising her from the dead by saying: Maid arise.

GOODNESS – Seeing Nathanael beneath the fig tree, Jesus said: Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.

FAITH – Jesus calls Peter and Andrew: Come ye after me and I will make you to become fishers of men …

MEEKNESS – Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized of John in the Jordan.

TEMPERANCE – The Baptist is described: John had his camel’s hair, leather girdle, and his meat was locusts and honey.

According to the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit has presented us with a basket of blessings, “gifts” if you will – portrayed in sparkling hues, ours to be practiced and modeled. Are we brave enough to partake of these blessings, and be nourished in heart, mind, and soul this Advent season?


Holy God, let us remember this season the basket of blessings you share with us, most all the gift and blessing of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

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