- Rev. Michelle Vernone
Growing Deep Roots--An Unhurried Life
Growing Deep Roots – An Unhurried Life
Ya know, I’ve been thinking. (No good conversation ever starts with those or similar words, but go with me here.) I’ve been thinking about what it means to grow deep roots, to build community, and to embrace the abundant life Jesus desires for us. Colossians 2:6 – 8 reads:
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers[a] of this world, rather than from Christ.
How do we attain that? How do we grow deep roots, build our lives on Christ, and overflow with thankfulness?
First, to grow in Christ, we must feed on God’s word. As a church, we are being intentional about providing more opportunities for scripture study. We have set a designated Sunday School hour and are planning to increase the number of adult Sunday School classes by offering one specifically to parents; provide a youth Sunday School class (which will be required to be eligible for Confirmation) along with our current adult and children’s class. We will continue our Wednesday night short series’ studies, as well as begin a women’s study on Tuesday evenings, Wine and the Word, while we plan a men’s study. I’m asking that you prayerfully consider both where and when to study as well as being willing to teach.
Next, to grow deep roots means to be in community. Ask yourself, ‘who do I do life with?’ Who is in your circle? Are you willing to invite new people into your circle and help them find a place of connection? Are you willing to take a risk and say ‘yes’ to an invitation and connect more deeply with the people you worship with in church? Being part of a small group or study will help our church build community. Being a church with a strong sense of community that includes as many as are willing will encourage growth, resiliency, and fruitfulness in seeing the Kingdom of God come to earth. Who will you reach out to and invite into new or deeper relationship – not just for church – but into your personal life?
And finally, in these thoughts and prayer, I feel the Lord asking me if I know (understand) the difference between a full/abundant life and a busy one. They are not the same thing. Being busy robs us of the ability to live full, holy, purposeful lives. As I read and press further into the book, An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest, by Alan Fadling, I am reminded that time, rest, worship, and Sabbath are holy things to be cherished and cultivated. Filling the day with activities doesn’t necessarily mean one’s life is full, just exhausting, leaving little to no room for the fullness and abundance God intended. We see the symptoms and have heard the cautions about over-scheduling our lives and the lives of children. Let’s be purposeful to choose what is better, do what matters, make room to be “un-scheduled”, and embrace biblical rhythms of work and rest.
In the coming weeks I’ll begin sermon series based on these ideas of biblical understanding and study using Adam Hamilton’s book Half Truths of the Bibleand Alan Fadling’s book An Unhurried Life. I hope you will consider picking these up and using them in your personal devotions and study at home and with your families as we work together to grow deep roots and build more intimate community.