Soil Is Important.
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“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
Psalm 1:3, New International Version
Okay, it’s three scraggly bean plants, and not a tree in rich loam, next to a stream of water. This sorry sight is a leftover from a preschool class, now done for the year. I found it on the kitchen island at church, looking so forlorn. The three bean seeds are not planted in soil at all. That’s black construction paper and water. There are definitely wilting leaves. I decided to rescue them from being thrown out, and plant them in one of my new raised beds. When they are rooted and nourished in good soil, they will grow just fine, and bear fruit.
Just so, we need to be rooted in more than just water and whatever passes for black construction paper in our spiritual lives. We will never flourish that way. Paul wrote, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him….” (Colossians 2:6-7). The soil is important. The spiritual soil that matters for our faith-roots is Jesus.
To be rooted in Christ is to delve into his Word. We began in water and the Word in our Baptism. We were buried in Baptism, like a seed in the ground. We were buried into Christ’s own death and raised with him in newness of life. Our spiritual roots in Christ produce the nourishment, of God’s grace, to the new life in which we revel as children of God.
Christ is the vine, we are the branches. Rooted in Christ provides a vivid spiritual metaphor in this imagery of being grafted into Christ. All spiritual nourishment comes through him, by the Spirit’s ministration.
Whether or not you enjoy gardening, pay attention to the plants you encounter today. Let them remind you of yourself—rooted and growing in Christ, bearing the Spirit’s fruit.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO