This evening, my hands wandered through the refrigerator and visited a rather lonely green pear, a red apple and some withered red plum tomatoes in a clear see-through plastic box.
I washed each and then proceeded to eat them. The pear was firm to the taste and tasted fairly well despite being somewhat crystallized. The red apple was another story, being somewhat turned, not unto wine or cider yet, but only able to consume 1/3 of its purpose. The flavor of the tomatoes was a little off for having sat quietly for quite some time. Never hearing its cries for consumption.
That brings me to the subject of fruit this evening. For fruit grows on the trees in their season and are monitored through the season by the farmers to make sure that it lasts and is ready for market.
The other day, I purchased an orange and it looked fine at first glance. When I took it out of the refrigerator, I noticed the rind had a gash in it. Sniffed it some and it smelt a little moldy. I peeled back some of it and took a taste. It did not have its full robust flavor. So I am going to return it to her home and get an exchange!
If Jesus was going through my refrigerator, he probably would come up with a well thought out parable. But since I don't have the gifted story telling that He has, I can still draw out the inference of what it means when St. Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 states, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Yikes, this 9 pack of fruit is something that I lack the fullness of and some it may be somewhat stale, having sat on my cupboards for longer than I have intended.
Yes, it may still have some taste but as Jesus mentions about salt in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again. It is no longer good for anything ,except to be thrown out and trampled by men." Therefore, fruit just as with salt needs to be treated nobly and with immediacy and not left to sit around for days.
For our lives and others can be nourished as we use the fruits that God has given us in ministry to build up the body. Much better than having trash heaps of fruit and salt decomposing for the ravens to pick at.
Next time, I will start unpacking that crate of fruit that has just pulled up to the warehouse of the church to be distributed and worn by believers.
Next off to the call to the vegetable side of the produce aisle.