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Keeping In Step

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5: 22-23 (NIV)

Everyone loves a parade. When our kids were little, I have fond memories of cheering them on as they got caught up in the excitement with their peers. One Memorial Day, our daughter carried a Girl Scout flag as her troop kept in step with the high school band. 

It was also a tradition for Little League to kick off their season with a parade. Our son marched in his baseball uniform, complete with cap and new glove, before the first big game. The roaring of the crowd, the anticipation of the event, and celebration afterward was a huge dose of good, old-fashioned fun.

With two young children at home, I knew how important it was to bring music and movement to my students. As an elementary teacher in a religious school, and as a faith formation director for our church, it was no surprise that children of all ages would jump out of their seats to put learning into action. I have several vivid memories of this.

For months, parents would recall that one All Saints Day when, complete with white paper plate halos, we marched around the church hall to the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In.” Another lively lesson occurred as we learned about the Fruits of the Spirit. A popular Christian children’s song at the time, it easily quenched the thirst of the disciples in training. 

When they heard the whistle blow, the eager kiddos would spring out of their chairs and a marching parade around the room would begin. Singing, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5: 22).

Paul’s letter goes on to tell us, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5: 25).

That day, a memory verse was born into the open hearts of those young impressionable leaders of tomorrow. What better way to learn that divine wisdom tells us to keep in step with the Spirit? I don’t know about you, my friend, but I would be lost without the third person of the Holy Trinity. To this day, that song is stuck in my head, too.

Come now, my sister. Be set free and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead.

Let’s pray.

O’ Holy Spirit,

Open my eyes to the promptings in my soul. I am forever grateful for your guiding hand in my life. For you alone are my Advocate, counsel, and comfort in times of need. Help me to look, listen, and learn who I am and who I am called to be. Thank you for opening my mind and heart to the needs of others. Stretch me, so I may be the hands and feet of Christ to share these fruits with others. May the Spirit of the Living God come rest on me. 


Until next time…

May the Spirit of God lead you, the Word of God sustain you, and the promises of God grant you the gift of everlasting peace.

With love and blessings.

To connect further, sketch and decorate a picture of a dove to represent the peace and everlasting presence of God’s Spirit within you. Journal how you will apply the Fruits of the Spirit in your own life. Which fruit(s) can you share with others? Who will you share them with?

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A portion of this reflection was first published in Nourish Your Soul: 7 Secrets for Women Seeking Peace


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