Ephesians 3:17-19Amplified Bible (AMP)
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, [a]through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses [b]mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] [c]unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [d]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
I’ve been thinking about the foundation and the strength of my identification in Christ, where my roots lie and how deep they go. More explicitly, whether I’ve sown into the nutrient rich ground of Christ’s love. By its own might, my patch of love is just that: a patch. It hasn’t necessarily multiplied in acreage. It can sometimes be dry no matter what the external conditions. It can be so tough to plow that seeds of hope and relationship can’t take root, leaving them exposed to the elements. My love ground can be cold and unfruitful. If my love ground isn’t good, then my love roots won’t be. Sometimes I don’t think I can live up to Christ’s expectations of a mature love life. That is loving people they way he does. But then I thought about what it means to be rooted and grounded. To be rooted and grounded is an active experience that clenches to a power source.
Look at trees. They stand still, but they’re always active. Some have been around for hundreds of years. That is, the healthy ones. They still manage to be trees and function as they were designed to do so. They produce oxygen, provide shade and housing for birds, and even withstand gale force winds. A healthy tree’s roots can grow up to seven feet deep in the ground and so strong that they can’t be upended, protecting the trees ability to stand firm and it’s confidence in what it’s supposed to be.
This makes me think of Groot from The Guardians of the Galaxy. For those of you who don’t know, Groot is a humanoid plant life (much like Ents from The Lord of the Rings). There’s one scene in the movie where he and his three companions are trapped in a building as intergalactic bombs are about to destroy them. Groot extends his branches to create a kind of tree bubble to protect his comrades. That image conjured up Ephesians 3:17-19 with Paul’s call for believers to be rooted and grounded in love with Christ dwelling in our hearts. It was his prayer that we would know Christ’s love, something that passes all knowledge, but would also fill us to the overflow in God.
When we rely on Christ’s love and are bound to it, grafted into it, and burrowed in it, our roots go deeper and we are fortified. We become shade for others and our branches become places of shelter for those in need. We also become good ground to sow in and reap from.
So it’s not just about how deep your roots grow, it’s about where we sow our being and the ground in which we plant ourselves. It’s also about what type of tree want to be come and what kind of ground we are when we are plowed by the demands of finite humanity. If it’s true that we reap what we so, shouldn’t we make sure we are sowing in the ground of Christ and also reaping the things of Christ?