Our family once had a huge cottonwood tree in our backyard. It was probably around 50 foot tall and gave shade to the whole yard.  We put hammocks, tree swings and balloons on it and a tree bench around it.  It was the perfect place around which to have birthday parties, picnics and other celebrations. We took good care of it from its tiny beginning on by watering and fertilizing it.  It certainly paid us back with years of enjoyment.  Unfortunately, as it aged, it began to rot inside and big branches would fall off without warning.  We had no choice but to have it cut down and removed.  It may sound maudlin to love a plant, but we felt real sorrow on that day.  That cottonwood had such deep, strong roots that the tree surgeon had to grind down about two feet to keep it from growing back.

Jesus Christ said of Himself, “…I am the root and offspring of David…” (Rev 22:16) He is that deep root to which every congregation and every Christian must be connected.  Satan did his upmost to sever that root by enticing evil and selfish people to crucify Christ and end His reign.  Or so he hoped.  But our Savior, Jesus Christ, arose from the dead after conquering sin, death, and Satan to rule and reign at the right hand of the Father.

Isaiah tells us that Jesus was, “…like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him..” (Isa 53:2)  The beautiful leaves and fruit we see would not exist except for the strong root system (Ro 11:16).  In Jesus’ parable of the sower, He explains that seed will not continue to grow to maturity without a strong root (Mt 13:21).

The apostle Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was, “…and I pray that you being rooted and established in love may have power…” (Eph 3:17) The Christian’s root system is sunk deep into the love of God, brethren and mankind (Gal 5: 13-14).  The world walks by sight and appreciates the foliage, whereas Christians understand, “… the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal 5:6)  Deep roots indeed!

–Jim Bailey