What are your roots?

In the task of self-differentiation, often the best way to control your behavior is to figure out how we became the way we are. Good counselors, psychologists & psychiatrists will start with a family history. How were you formed, how did you grow up, who are you in relationship with? Examining who you are allows you to make the changes you need to make.

In Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 Jesus talks about planting seeds and all the kinds of ways to grow. Some are devoured by other’s needs , some are neglected never given the nourishment they need to grow, some starve, and some did too much and burned out of energy.

And some were placed in exactly the right environment at exactly the right time, and not only grew, but flourished. So much so they have enough harvest to share. They have such a bounty they can never use it themselves.

So what does Jesus tell us to do with our seeds? Not to conserve them or to wait for the exact right moment or environment to plant them.

Instead we are invited to plant recklessly. To blow the seeds in all kinds of places, to trust that something will grow. To trust in God. It is a parable of grace overflowing–seeds blowing out into the wind

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We need to be like dandelions, deeply rooted, but ready for our grace to blow away.

Here we stand, as a country (in the United States) and as a world, asking the question, what are our roots? Are we able to root down in who we are and what we value to plant new things? Do we have that faith?

Martin Luther is attributed with saying “Even if tomorrow I knew the world would go to pieces, I would plant an apple tree.”

I know we are all in different places. Some of us are seeds that have given away too much space, some of us our undernourished, some of us are the forgotten seeds–buried to die (but yet we rise).

I know too, in the United States we are looking at the roots of our towns and cities and realizing that we prioritized the rich over the poor-as Jesus warns against.

We have let the good news be choked, we have forgotten to tend to one another in the garden. We have refused to wear a mask to protect our neighbor, we have forgotten that all plants should have room to grow and that we exist in an ecosystem where when only one plant thrives, it too will eventually wither.

Are our roots in Christ deeper than our nationalism?

We have forgotten our roots. The good and the bad as a country, the good and the bad as a Christian. We gotta trace true history to differentiate and define ourselves as Christians. Is it any wonder that it is tough for us to flourish.

We are not self-differentiated as humans or Christians. How can we be more defined and rooted in Christ?

My freedom is bound up in yours. All lives cannot matter until black lives matter. My safety is bound up in yours, I’m not safe from Coronavirus until everyone is safe from coronavirus. This is the truth of the garden. Paradise happens when a great variety of plants live together so that the soil can be nourished, so that plants can bloom and blossom. If we only have one type of plant–the nutrients that plants needs get used and then there is nothing left to replace those nutrients.

Hear the word of the the Lord Jesus Christ, now is not the time to be chintzy with our seeds. We do not plant seeds because we have hope. Hope is not strong enough. We plant the seeds because every single person deserves to be loved, and the chance to thrive. No matter what environment you or I come from, we are all a part of God’s garden.

Did you ever notice that plants come in all colors, shapes, genders & varieties and it makes them all the more beautiful?

Justice is when no one hungers for more–because everyone has enough.

In heaven there will be no greed, because no one will hunger for more–they know they have enough. In heaven no one will go hungry–because there will be enough. I want to work for a world where there is enough: enough blessings, enough food, enough love, enough time–for every single person. Isn’t that the Kin-dom of God that we are all working for?

The Kingdom of God is like a garden where the seeds are planted completely nonsensically, and every single thing grows & bears fruits. And each plant is declared to be a thing of beauty.

Go forth and spread your seeds, even as you protect the health of one another. Share your bounty, so that we might all be fruitful and live.

Amen.

Katy Stenta is a solo pastor at a tiny church that is bigger on the inside in Albany, NY for over nine years and blogs at katyandtheword@wordpress.com She is also the co-founder of the fledgling TrailPraisers inclusive Worship. When she is not dreaming up projects and ideas, some of which creep into the church, she plays with her three boys-boys or goes and visits her husband at the library, while he works, to read.


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6 thoughts on “RCL: Roots

  1. So many good thoughts/ideas…thanks. I am moving back to RCL after doing a six week sermon series. As it stands right now I’ll be preaching Matthew the entire summer.

    I am also intrigued by a book I read about trees communicating with each other and wondering if/how that might work between this week and next week when the weeds appear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a great idea about communication between plants. Did you see the article about the orchestra playing for plants and then giving them away? My other favorite fact is if an elderly person has a plant to take care of they statistically live 2 years longer!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have decided to put on my big girl panties and preach on Romans 8. (I preached on Romans 3:23-24 last week.) It is summer, we are in the middle of a pandemic, the virus is spreading again, so what could possibly go wrong with a sermon on Romans 8? Sark and pneuma? Flesh and breath? People on ventilators? Yeah. I think I can do something with this.

    Liked by 1 person

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