When I was a child fruit played an important part in our Christmas tradition. My grandmother felt she had failed in her Christmas responsibility if she did not bake each of her children a fruitcake each year. Her fruitcakes were baked a month ahead of time and wrapped in cheesecloth. On Christmas morning my stocking always had plenty of fruit. I especially liked the oranges. You could cut a hole in the end and place a peppermint stick into it, making yourself a great fruit drink. Of course, it would not be Christmas without some type of fruit salad for Christmas dinner.
One fruit I have not mentioned stands out. My grandmother always seemed to provide it. It was not bought in a store or baked in an oven. It was the fruit of the Spirit. It poured from her like an unending stream. She always had a plentiful supply. It flowed in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It gave clear evidence of the One who indwelled her. This fruit was the natural outward manifestation of God’s Spirit in her life. It left memories in the mind of a young lad that still brings a smile to his face in his older years. The man now prays that someday his grandchildren may be able to say something similar about him.
The Christmas season is a time for an abundance of fruit. Along with the store bought fruit, my prayer is that in each of our homes there will also be a bountiful supply of the other fruit, the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit can’t be bought with money. It can only be obtained when we are willing to open our hearts to God’s Spirit and give Him reign in our lives. If we are willing to receive, He is willing to bestow this blessing upon us.