The Fruit of the Spirit
Fruit trees and the fruit of the Spirit
by Alison Thurlow
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To encourage us to appreciate good qualities in people’s lives.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (The Fruit of the Spirit) and the means to display them.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Season to season, the apple tree’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 2.59 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNbxkiDlWho
- The Bible passage about the fruit of the Spirit is taken from Galatians 5.22-23.
- Show Slide 1 as the children enter the room.
Ask the children why they think that the picture of a tree has been displayed.
Listen to a range of responses.
Explain that the theme of today’s assembly is going to be trees and plants that produce fruit.
- Ask the children if they have ever seen fruit trees. Ask them if they can describe how a fruit tree might look as it moves though the seasons of the year.
Show the YouTube video ‘Season to season, the apple tree’.
- Point out that some trees might look quite similar to each other in the springtime when they are covered in green leaves. However, as spring turns into summer and then autumn, these trees will produce various types of fruit.
- Show Slides 2 to 7.
Ask the children to identify the fruits (in order: apricots, apples, lemons, limes, oranges, satsumas, cherries, pears and pineapples) and discuss their preferences. Ask them whether all fruits grow on trees (Slide 7 may open up this discussion).
- Ask what conditions are needed for the trees to grow and produce fruit.
Explain that the four main requirements are enough light, enough water, nutritious soil and favourable temperatures. If these conditions are present, a tree should grow through the seasons and produce fruit in the summer or autumn.
- The Bible talks about a different type of fruit. A man called Paul was one of the early leaders in the Christian Church and he wrote letters to several of the early churches to encourage them and to teach them more about Jesus. One of these letters was to a church in a place called Galatia, which would be in modern-day Turkey. In this letter, Paul wrote, ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.’
Show Slide 8.
- When Paul talks about fruit here, he doesn’t mean fruit growing on a tree, which might be tasty to eat; he means good qualities or characteristics that we can see in people’s lives.
Show Slide 9.
Read out each quality and ask the children to think about people they know who show some of each quality. You may wish them to discuss answers with those seated near them.
- Ask the children to consider the following questions:
- (Key Stage 1) What kind of people do you like to spend time with?
- (Key Stage 1) Is it easy to be kind to everyone? Why/why not?
- (Key Stage 2) Do you think that these are all good qualities for a person to have? Why/why not?
- (Key Stage 2) Do you find it hard to show some of these qualities in your life? Why/why not?
- Point out that most people would agree that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all good qualities to have in our lives. However, they are not always easy qualities to develop.
- Paul describes all these qualities as ‘the fruit of the Spirit’. Christians believe that these qualities, or ‘fruit’, will develop in people’s lives as they get to know God better. They believe that this happens by spending time learning about the Bible, praying and asking God to help them to live in this way. Christians believe that God sends his Holy Spirit to live in people’s lives. This changes them on the inside and helps these qualities to develop within their lives.
Time for reflection
Ask the children whether they can remember what fruit trees need to produce fruit. Remind them about light, water, nutrients in the soil and temperature. Remind the children that when we look at fruit trees in the spring, they may all appear very similar. However, in the summer and autumn, the amount and quality of the fruit that they produce varies.
Suggest that this is similar to the fruit of the Spirit: when we first meet someone, we can’t see what kind of person they are on the inside. However, as we spend time with them, we can see the qualities in their lives. Christians believe that God’s spirit works in people to develop the qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Qualities like the fruits of the Spirit are difficult to measure. The only way that we can really tell whether people have these fruits is to spend time with them and notice how they treat other people. Just looking at someone won’t tell us if they have good qualities in their lives. It is important not to judge people by what they look like on the outside. The fruit of the Spirit develops on the inside: the way people behave towards others shows something about the kind of person they are on the inside.
Thank you for the beauty of the world around us and for the lessons that we can learn from nature.
Please help us to develop good qualities in our lives.
Help us to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Help us to treat others with respect.
‘May God’s blessing be upon you now’ by Chris Kipling (Little Kids Praise Party Megamix 3-CD box set by Spring Harvest (Essential Christian), 2016 edition)