There is quite a bit of fruit in our orchard this summer. It seems that finally all of that hard work we have been doing over the past year is coming to fruition. I don't have to be the gardener in the family to recognize that fruit trees need care all year round in order to produce a good crop. We water, fertilize, prune, and mow that orchard, and then we wait, anxiously watching the green nubs on those trees turn colorful. Life is like that sometimes... you have to work a while before you see fruit.
One thing that strikes me about our orchard, is that to an untrained eye, all of the trees look remarkably similar for most of the year. It isn't until the fruit on each tree begins to appear that I can distinguish the trees. Did you know that all plants with a flower on them, also have a fruit?? We can't eat every type of fruit, but most plants produce something that is classified as such.
Our church is doing a series on the fruit of the Spirit this summer. I will admit that we have been gone quite a bit, missing most of the sermons. However, the things that Jesus says about fruit in the Bible have none-the-less been on my mind.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
It seems that fruit is a metaphor for the way we represent Christ. Just as the fruit on a tree tells us what type of tree is growing in the orchard, the fruit in our lives tells others about who we are. What has struck me anew is that all people produce some type of fruit, but not all of that fruit is good. No matter how alternative we dress, or how allergic to stereotypes we are, we represent something in our lives.
What is it that I represent? (rhetorical question... no need to respond!)
"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit." Matthew 12:33
What do we do with all of the fruit on our trees, or the fruit in our lives? Give it away, of course!! That's what fruit is for.
P.S. The pictures taken here are all from our property, and they are displayed in order of appearance throughout the season. Still to come: pears, nectarines, persimmons, and grapes!