Day 9 - Christmas Season Devotionals

January 3

Galatians 5:13-26

“On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Nine Ladies Dancing.”

The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22) are represented by the nine ladies dancing.

This icon is Rublev's famous painting of the Trinity. You will notice that they are seated around a round table, each figure has the same face but is wearing different garments. The Trinity has been referred to as a “divine dance” where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit interact with one another in a variety of movements and interactions that are interdependent. Our lives with Christ can be much like a dance, where the partners interact with one another. Usually one is the leader but they dance together as one unit. Dancing can be so light and beautiful but it requires care and harmony to succeed. My favorite dancing is ice dancing. I just love watching gifted skaters as they whirl and glide across the ice, the partners in effect being one.

The Fruit of the Spirit interacts with us as it dances and whirls from the depths of our being. The Fruit of the Spirit issues forth as the evidence of a spirit filled life. A tree that is healthy produces fruit that is good to eat. Likewise, lives that are lived under the authority and control of the Holy Spirit produce fruit that is attractive. My grandfather was a gentle, kind man. He always had a kind word for everyone, a helping hand when needed, and a dollar or two if someone was totally down and out. His life radiated the life of the Spirit that filled his every fiber. I remember him opening that big old Bible and reading it every day, I remember also, the prayers that he prayed. They were simple and yet profound. He talked to God as if he was sitting across the breakfast table and they were two old friends sharing a meal and their stories. Because of this his life produced fruit and impacted us in more ways than we can comprehend.

We are commanded to seek after and pray for the gifts of the spirit, but we are not to seek the fruit of the Spirit—we are told to seek the Spirit. My prayer for this year is that I would more and more submit my life to the control of the Holy Spirit. My hope is that in doing so others will see the fruit of the Spirit in my life and that they will see evidence of the divine dance of grace within me.

Action Point: In what ways do you see these nine ladies dancing in the lives of your friends and family? How is this dance evidenced in your life? What areas do you need to surrender to the Spirit to make room for the fruit to grow?