Goodness of God’s Fruit
In our backyard we have several fruit trees. One of my favourites is a peach tree that my mother grew from the seed of a particularly sweet, juicy peach she had purchased from a supermarket. Affectionately called “Mum’s Peach”, this little tree has had good years and not so good years, mostly depending on whether I have remembered to spray for curly leaf. When I have neglected to spray, my yields are severely impacted. The fruit is generally fewer and smaller. However, when I have placed time and effort into controlling this disease, then the fruit is usually large, sweet, and juicy just like the original parent fruit that my mother had purchased all those years before.
Good fruit comes from healthy trees – to be healthy, a tree requires nurturing by way of feeding, watering, pruning and yes, as in my example, spraying for pests and disease. This is not something the tree can do for itself but requires an outside source. If I did not intervene, my little peach tree would grow weak with constant attack from the curly leaf fungus. And if I didn’t prune away the dead wood it would grow gnarly and straggly. A weak tree is open to attack, a healthy tree cannot do anything but produce good fruit – something that occurs naturally!
Good fruit also comes from spiritually healthy people. To be spiritually healthy, we require nurturing by way of feeding, watering, and pruning. This is not something we can do for ourselves but requires an outside source. If our Lord Jesus did not intervene, we would grow weak from constant attack from our enemy. If Jesus did not prune and mould us, our sinful nature would surely cause us to grow gnarly and straggly. A weak faith is open to attack from all kinds of evil.
For our body and soul to thrive we need to be nourished by feeding on God’s Word. To fight off the curly leaf fungus, I spray my tree with copper sulphate, this only works well when I completely drench the tree. The tree is covered in an armour made of copper. In Ephesians 6:11 Paul exhorts us to “put on the full armour of God, so we are able to stand against the wiles of the evil one”. As we are drenched in the Word of God and strengthened through the holy Sacraments, the Holy Spirit will work in us, so that the goodness of our fruit is something that just occurs naturally, abundantly and in season.
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Matthew 7:17,18 NIV.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are the source of all that is good, for you alone are good! Thank you for your Word and holy Sacraments that strengthen and preserve us. You are the Tree of Life; you are the true Vine. Make us to be branches that produce good and wholesome fruit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.