Reading (Ephesians 3:14-21)
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
For gardeners this is a very exciting time of the year as seeds are being sown and the plants in the garden are changing and developing as we head towards summer. But while all this activity is going on in the garden it is very easy to forget the plants that we have indoors. I don’t have many houseplants but I am quite attached to the ones that I have. One of these is a jade plant; I grew it from a cutting from a previous jade plant that I had. The plant has grown strong and has been repotted several times as it has outgrown the pots that it has been growing in. I had been thinking for a while now that it needed to be repotted again as it had become very top heavy with a great deal of new growth on the top supported by quite a small amount of roots.
So at the weekend I decided that the time had come to repot the plant. All went very well and the plant looked rather resplendent in its new pot. The old root ball had indeed been quite small so I had been careful to firm around the plant in its new pot. Later in the day I noticed that the plant had developed a slight lean so went out in the garden to get some small bamboo canes that I could use to give the plant some extra support. I was, however, too late, as by the time I had come back with the canes the plant had fallen out of its pot and was lying upside down on the floor in the kitchen.
I called out to Rob to come and give me a hand while I picked up the plant, shook off the soil and removed what had broken off from the result of the fall. Carefully I repotted the plant once again. This time I placed three canes around the edge of the pot which I attached to the trunk of the plant to give it extra support while it settled in to its new pot. I don’t know if it will work; it might be that the roots are just too small to support the plant any more, but I’m hoping that with the extra support of the three canes the roots will spread out into the new pot and it will thrive once again.
As Christians we are called to continually grow in our faith and sometimes we feel that we should be able to do this all on our own and that needing support is somehow a sign of weakness on our behalf. But all of us need support in one way or another all of the time if we are to develop strong roots. Our support might be found in bible study or a prayer group, it might be in weekly services or spending time with God as we walk in the countryside. However we get our support it is a necessary part of growth and without it we will be like my jade plant and may find that we too end up in a mess with bits broken needing to be picked up, brushed off and surrounded by those who can support us best. Paul knew all about the support that Christians needed when he prayed for the Ephesians at the end of his letter to them and with the right support around us, that of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are guaranteed to flourish in our faith.
Help us to grow within the love and support of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.