my True Love gave to me,
Nine ladies dancing...
And who can keep from dancing when they are filled with the Holy Spirit? In my search for the biblical significance of nine and what this line in the Twelve Days of Christmas meant I found the fruit of the Spirit, which Galatians 5:22 tells us is.... come on say them with me: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
I'm in the middle of pruning trees, thanks for the hand and foot warmers Jim and Kathy, and while I am up on my sixteen foot ladder with my hand pruners carefully making sure that I am making each and every cut to the best of my ability so that my very very old trees will continue to bear fruit, I have lots of time to think. And rethink, and think some more.
Our trees are very old and had some years of mistreatment after neglectful years. How typical of us to mistreat something that we see has gone a little off course because we have chosen to neglect it. We mistreat it out of a sense of getting it back in line and into shape. Often making the "treatment" fair worse for the tree or situation or spiritual growth, than the original neglect.
One of the many ways we rush to repair neglect but cause more damage or stunted fruiting, is by making demands of ourselves and others, rules, programs, memberships to causes.
A while back one of the blogs I read had a post about various job descriptions for different types of ministers. I made the comment that it would be nice if, as Christians, we just acknowledged a universal job description that was "read the Bible, do it." I would continue to hold to my statement. There is no problem with works that give interpretations of what is in the Bible, suggesting examples of living out what is read with in the words written.
The problem arises when we go about making rules. Rules to hide behind, rules to make us feel secure, rules to organize our day, rules to exclude the potentials, a lovely set of rules so we no longer need to think, or pray and listen.
Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. Luke 11:46
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. Luke 11:52
Just thinking... Pondering the word of God.
But Dear Reader I really have to scoot along with my day. The new snow that fell last night is calling my name, and so are my trees. And look how short I kept it today! Aren't you glad! Have a very good day, develop your fruit, and help others develop theirs, be careful not to bruise your fruit or the fruit in other's.
Celebrate the gift of nine in this year of nine.