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On the ninth day of Christmas...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..." Galatians 5. 22-23

Are the "9 ladies dancing" not the 9 fruit of the Spirit, as listed here by Paul? Worthy candidates one and all and what a New Year resolution that would be - to cultivate more of one or all of them in our lives! Indeed, according to context, this is Paul's intention, to evoke an expectancy within the mind of every believer that the effect of opening our hearts to Jesus is that he doesn't just promise us heaven when we die ("pie in the sky" as some cynics like to call it) but he gets to work on us right away.

There are a couple of important theological insight here: that eternal salvation is not simply a distant prospect, eternal life begins the moment a believer receives Jesus as Lord and Saviour; and the fact that eternal life can begin here on earth confirms the integrity between earth and heaven and indeed the "new heaven and the new earth". It is all of God and it all belongs to God. What matters in heaven matters on earth. Isn't that why Jesus taught us to pray: "Thy kingdom come - on earth as it is in heaven"?

Stop plodding, take a partner - or all 9 - and let the dance begin...



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