Week 28: Roots

Week 28: Roots

Today’s Text: Colossians 1-2

Key Text: Colossians 2:6-7

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus as 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.”

Do you remember the hugely popular TV miniseries called Roots?

It won numerous prestigious awards, and (according to Wikipedia) “still holds a record as the third highest rated episode for any type of television series, and the second most watched overall series finale in U.S. television history.” I was a sophomore in college – and the series made a big impression on me, my family, and my friends and classmates at the time.

Despite its historic impact, ask a young person about the series these days, and you are likely to get a big yawn and a “huh?” as a response. Time changes things. Ask about zombies and, well, you might have quite a conversation. Hmmm.

But I digress.

My real point is that long before this TV series and its important story came and went – there was this reference to “roots” – written by the apostle Paul.

For Paul, it was of central importance that his readers understand that they were “rooted” in their new life in Christ – and because they were – everything had changed for them, forever.

Genealogical roots are important, no denying that.

But equally – indeed, more important – are our spiritual roots. Paul uses words like these to try and make his point:

  • Established
  • Abounding

This rootedness establishes us in what? Faith.

This rootedness allows us to abound in what? Thanksgiving.

This is true, no matter what our physical, social, political, or cultural circumstances are at any given time.

They – we – have received Christ Jesus the Lord – and, in light of that, nothing can ever really defeat us.

What are the roots you cherish? I hope you can cherish your family roots, as many do. Some, sadly, cannot.

Either way, know that if you are firmly rooted in Christ – you belong to a family – and you have a heritage – that began before time itself – and will continue on for all eternity.

You can’t be much more established or have greater reason for abounding in thanksgiving than that.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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