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Galatians 5:22-26

We did this one and thought afterwards that it shouldn't really have worked, but it did. Was it the work of the Holy Spirit, or did people feel sorry for the all age team? It was fairly clear that we had run out of ideas and were resorting to an extremely literal metaphor.

The thinking, if that is not too strong a word for it, was that Paul wrote about the fruit of the Spirit and so we should use, as illustrations, fruit that went with each, er, fruit. We decided to charge ahead with this despite there being no obvious connection between lemons and love, or between Jaffa oranges and joy, or between any of the fruits and their accompanying, er, fruits.

But we soldiered on, and after a talk about Galatians 5, the banners were produced and handed out to nine people who walked off to various corners of the church (and some places that were not corners, St James's possessing only the usual four) where there were tables furnished with piles of the same fruit. Well, actually we cheated and had lemonade, Jaffa cakes, fig rolls and grapefruit juice; but the other fruits were real fruits.

And then the congregation was encouraged to visit the various tables, have a bit of fruit and pray for the spiritual fruit thus represented. So if they felt they needed to be more patient, they would go to the pear table, and eat a bit of pear, and pray for more patience. Most of the children felt they were in need of Jaffa cakes of joy.

Much to our surprise, many people said that they found it a very helpful encouragement to pray for the Spirit to give them his gifts. And weeks later people would come up to us and say how they had eaten pineapple of peace the previous evening.

The banners were made from paper which was available online (search for "fadeless art paper"). It came in rolls and had to be ironed to keep it flat. I stapled the paper to bits of wood at the top and bottom so it hung straight, and used string to hang the banners from long bits of wood. The bottom was tied too, so the banners didn't flap about, twist round or generally act in an uncontrollable way.

The lettering was printed on coloured paper using an outline font (Word lets you do this in 'font - text effects' - give the letters an outline but no fill). Then they were cut out and stuck on the banners using Spraymount. It take ages.

You can listen to the reading and talk on the St James' Muswell Hill web site.

The lemon of love

Jaffa orange
The Jaffa orange of joy


The pineapple of peace. That is a rubbish pineapple - the hexagons on the outside should wind around the pineapple in spirals.

The pear of patience

The kiwi of kindness

The grapes of goodness

The fig of faithfulness

The grapefruit of gentleness

The strawberry of self-control


Desert island church by John Parker. Contact me via the about page. Text and images copyright © 2014 John Parker www.desertislandchurch.co.uk.