15th September 2023

I’m not a particularly good gardener and tend to operate a policy of benign neglect, however one thing that consistently amazes me is how a plant I thought was dead will revive. Grass is an amazing example of this. After dry spell, brown and looking lifeless, the rain comes and within a few days there’s a transformation. Lush greenery begins to appear. While on the surface things looked bad underneath are strong healthy roots. The bible is full of gardening metaphors including vines, fig trees, vineyards, and trees with strong roots deep roots.

The Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter 3 prays that the believers might be rooted and established in love. We sometimes talk of being rooted in a community, this can be from an investment in the location, a sense of belonging and connection, or depth of relationships.

As Christians is there anything can we practically do to be rooted in love, so that when the dry seasons come, as they do in our lives, we have strong roots which know how to draw nourishment to sustain us?

It could be engaging with the bible, on our own, in small groups, in church or through books, apps and podcasts. Our relationships with other Christians are important as they should be spaces where we can ask questions and be held accountable. A key feature is developing a personal and corporate prayer life. Practically practising love, putting others before ourselves as valued members of God’s creation, can teach us to draw on God’s strength. Ultimately, we have to allow God to transform us by His Spirit, remembering and celebrating the work of God in our own lives.

I pray that out of his (God’s) glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your
inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and
established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long
and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19