Rainier Cherries

For our 25th Anniversary Nancy and I spent a week on the West Coast and then went to Edmonton for a few days to celebrate her graduation with her Master’s Degree. The University laid on a wonderful buffet meal after the ceremony. Before it began I was looking for a water fountain and wandered into the dessert room. There was no one else there except me and an 8 year old boy. I don’t know who he belonged to but he was utterly unconcerned as he walked down a long table sticking his finger into the centre of each pie and tasting it. I now understood why some bakers leave that little circle where there is no crust. When I found Nancy later I whispered to her “When you choose a dessert, skip the pie.”

The week before we were at the market on Granville Island and a fruit vendor offered me a sample of a white cherry. I asked why he was selling un-ripened cherries. He only smiled and held it out again. Mercy. “What are these?” “Rainier cherries.” I bought two quarts. A few years later I found them again in our local grocery store. In Ontario. Mercy. Now I watch for them every year. They just showed up locally. They’re candy that’s good for you.

Paul, writing to the Galatians, tries to help a young church figure out its sense of who is in and who isn’t—who belongs and how they decide this. He builds up to a conclusion that asserts that in Christ there are no barriers, no differentiation, no inequalities. He encourages them to test their understanding, include all the pie.

For me the key passage is the end of chapter 5, where he describes the fruit of the spirit. This is pivotal for how we judge ourselves and how we might allow those we trust to judge us. Not by appearance but by what our lives produce: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, understanding, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Some are more familiar in our lives than others. Few will object to our cultivating them and offering them to them. Which I think is outreach: “What (who) are these?” We continue to proffer ourselves and allow people to decide.

Questions? Comments? Contact Cameron at minister@forestgroveunited.com.