There are nine traits specifically mentioned in the book of Galatians that Paul lists as virtues. He calls them The Fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. But did any of the characters in the Bible’s Christmas story display these qualities in their lives? Yes!
The unassuming shepherds were the first people to receive the news about the birth of Jesus. They were filled with such joy they rushed to Bethlehem to see the Baby. They suspected Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. After they saw Him, they were faithful to spread the word. Joy and faithfulness.
The Magi were faithful in coming to visit the One whose star they’d seen in the east. They must’ve exercised great patience in making the long trip to Bethlehem. Faithfulness and patience.
Mary, out of the many Christmas characters, probably demonstrated all the fruit. A few traits which came to my mind are her love for her Son, joy that God allowed her to birth the Savior, peace when she discovered she was pregnant, patience in waiting nine months for her baby to be born, faithfulness in her role as a parent, and gentleness in caring for the Baby’s needs. Love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness.
The character of Joseph fascinated me as I thought about him as a man and not just the earthly father of the Baby. When he first heard his fiancée was pregnant, he knew the child wasn’t his. He showed his love for Mary by deciding to divorce her quietly instead of having her stoned. But after the angel of the Lord told him not to be afraid to take her as his wife, he proved faithful by providing for her and the Baby Jesus. And I’m sure he used a lot of patience and self-control in waiting until after the birth of the baby to consummate the marriage. Love, faithfulness, patience, self-control.
What fruit can you claim as a result of the Baby Jesus’ birth?
Merry Christmas all. I pray you’re enjoying your tree, turkey dinner with family, carols, and some places, snow. But here’s a thought. A hundred years from now, what will matter most? Not the stockings hung by the chimney or gifts wrapped in colorful paper but God’s gift to mankind, Jesus Christ.