Fruits of the Spirit: Kindness 💕
Thank you to all who have sent in pictures of how you see the Holy Spirit. This morning’s fits beautifully with Andy Butler’s reflection on the fifth fruit of the Spirit, as Paul lists in Galatians. Angela’s picture of the dawn breaking and her accompanying words draw us in to meditate on the compassionate heart of God – a focus that Andy gives in her conclusion. What great ‘book-endedness’ for a Saturday!
We welcome you to our Trinity Sunday Service and the chance to see one another tomorrow at the Zoom Coffee Morning (details at the bottom).
‘The loving kindness of the heart of our God
who visits us like the dawn from on high.’ Luke 1: 78
This photo of the sunrise across the Conwy Valley, sums up so much of the Holy Spirit for me – the waiting in darkness, the aching, longing for dawn, for gentle light and warmth slowly becoming visible then still gentle but overwhelming light that obscures all else.
‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.’
Titus 3: 4-7
‘Ond dyma garedigrwydd a chariad Duw ein Hachubwr yn dod i’r golwg. Wnaeth e ddim ein hachub ni am ein bod ni’n dda, ond am ei fod e’i hun mor drugarog! Golchodd ni’n lân o’n pechod a rhoi bywyd newydd i ni drwy’r Ysbryd Glân. Tywalltodd yr Ysbryd arnon ni’n hael o achos beth oedd Iesu Grist wedi’i wneud i’n hachub ni. Am ei fod wedi bod mor garedig â gwneud ein perthynas ni gyda Duw yn iawn, dŷn ni’n gwybod y byddwn ni’n etifeddu bywyd tragwyddol.’
Titus 3: 4-7
Andy Butler writes:
In the Collins dictionary kindness is defined as “the quality of being gentle, caring, and helpful”. We’ve certainly seen myriad examples of kindness during this terrible pandemic. People have gone the extra mile in reaching out to those in need. Our NHS staff have been true heroes of kindness in the sacrificial way they have tended to the sick and dying, in response to this folk have organised meals for those working in the hospitals, others have reached out in their neighbourhoods, keeping an eye on the vulnerable, shopping for others, delivering prescriptions. So much kindness going on.
I love going for my daily walks and experiencing the kindness of folk as they smile, cross over the road to keep the social distance (who would have thought of that as a kindness), or spend a little time in conversation. The whole concept of lockdown is an act of kindness and of love as we give up a little of our freedom to protect ourselves yes, but also to protect our society.
Many of you know that before lockdown I was staying with my family in New Zealand. One of my great nephews is quite severely disabled. His name is Caleb. He has Angelman’s syndrome, which causes all sorts of problems. He doesn’t speak, has problems walking, seizures and developmental issues. He’s much loved, hard work, but a real delight. When out shopping one day with him my niece decided to risk going into a shop with Caleb safely in his wheelchair. I say risk because Caleb’s hands and feet are a real hazard as displayed in this instance. Caleb’s legs thrashed out sending a display of glassware crashing to the floor. My niece was mortified but before she could gather herself together, another customer rushed to the counter and payed for the damage. Later that day my niece made up a box of groceries and left it on the doorstep of a family in need. She calls this ‘Passing the kindness on.’
As Christians, we experience the kindness of God in our lives and read in the Bible about the kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry. We are called to ‘pass the kindness on.’ A definition of kindness in a Bible dictionary reads, “An attribute of God and a quality desirable but not consistently found in humans.” That’s true enough! Kindness doesn’t always come naturally particularly to those we may find difficult, which is why we need God’s help. Kindness is more than a random act. We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to be consistently kind people of God, reflecting His own heart of compassion for us. Stuart Townend writes in his ‘Compassion’ hymn, which you can hear by clicking here:
Here is an everlasting kindness you lavished on us,
When the radiance of heaven came to rescue the lost.
You called the sheep without a shepherd to leave their distress,
For Your streams of forgiveness and the shade of Your rest.
What boundless love, what fathomless grace
You have shown us, O God of compassion.
Each day we live an offering of praise
As we show to the world Your compassion.
we experience your kindness in our lives in so many ways
and in the life of Jesus we see kindness
shown to the lost, the outcast , the undeserving.
Your love, compassion and kindness are constant.
Your mercies are new every morning.
Thank you for the many kindnesses
we have experienced particularly during these difficult times.
Help us by your Spirits power
to pass your kindness on to those around us.
Trinity Sunday Service
will be posted at 8am
Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
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