As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2: 6-7 NRSV
The image Paul presents here is that of a plant, supported by and anchored by its roots. The apostle is reminding the Colossians that they are rooted in Christ. The seeds of faith have grown within them, and they are flourishing. Christ provides the strong support from which they can reach new heights.
Paul correctly captures the important interplay between roots and height when it comes to plants, and to matters of faith. Namely, the deeper the roots, the higher the plant can soar into the sky. Paul seems to know that the Colossians long to soar higher and to go farther. Therefore, he reminds them this goal will not be achieved apart from being deeply rooted in Christ.
Even our own Apple Blossom festival recognizes the importance of roots, as this year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Roots”. Our history, that of a growing relationship with Christ, can create roots.
Some people choose to walk away from their Christian roots, and to be cut off from Christ. Yet even such extreme cases, a sapling can grow out of the stump. As long as the roots remain intact, there is hope. We must be careful to realize and affirm the depth and strength of our roots. While it is true that some walk away from their Christian roots permanently, there is always hope. Many prodigals have returned to the fold, and to their roots in Christ.
We must always pray and welcome those who are in the throes of doubt, being open and offering love to them. No matter the age of a tree, roots will hold it upright. If anything, we can be like the support pole placed around a tree. We don’t supplant the work of the roots, but we help the young tree to grow straight and tall. The Lord, who is the Master Gardener, provides the growth.
Therefore, let us continue to live our lives in Christ, being firmly rooted and built up in Him.
Help me to remember that you are the rich soil in my life, from which I grow as I am rooted in You. Support me when there are winds and storms in my life. May the rain and the sun help me to grow, and to spread your word. Let me bear good fruit, for You have given me life. Forgive me when I am selfish, and do not share the blessings you have given me. Give me a generous heart and spirit. As I go through each season of my life, let the good fruit of my life bless others. I pray this prayer in the name of the one who called Himself Living Water, Your son and my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.