Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

That it may please thee to give to all people increase of grace
to hear and receive thy Word, and to bring forth the fruits of
the Spirit,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

Hmmmm. That sort of sounds like “awareness” to me...

That is an interesting concept, that grace is also the mechanism of the “hearing”, not just the “thing we receive.” It is also interesting in this stanza we are asking for ALL to receive this “increase of grace.” Not just us, not just our friends, not just the people we like...but also the people we don’t like, or don’t feel one way or another, or don’t even know. Kind of the opposite of “corporate atonement”--”corporate blessing.”

Do we really understand what we are asking for when we ask for ALL? It means we have to ask that some of the most evil people we can think of, will be blessed with the same kind of blessings we ask for ourselves. We can certainly wish for ourselves, our love ones to be blessed. But to ask for the child rapist in the penitentiary to be blessed EQUALLY? For the family of a murder victim AND the person who murdered that person? That is a pretty tall order to ask for it, and MEAN it.

Then there is the business of these “fruits.” What are they? They are all kind of “mystery fruits.” If you have an apple tree in the yard, you’re pretty sure you’re going to get apples. If you have a plum tree, plumbs. But the fruits of the spirit are more like a tree that bears “mystery fruit.” You don’t know what you are getting till it starts to grow. There’s suspense involved. Oh, I LOVE suspense! (NOT!)

You know, sometimes, it is my own feelings of “impoverishment” that hold me back from the power of those fruits. I have been the recipient of grace many tiimes over, but my own sense of “impoverishment” is one of the things that holds me down. Having grown up with very little, I tend to want to hoard my fruits instead of passing them out. But they are meant to be eaten quickly, not hoarded, or else they’ll spoil. That’s worth remembering, I think. They are meant to be shared, even with those who we have no desire to be doing any sharing of the same blessings we are sure are meant for us. Tall order!




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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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