07292018 10 Aft Pent 9 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“We are rooted, strengthened and grounded in Christ (Eph. 3:14-21)”

07292018 10 Aft Pent 9 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

July 29. 2018

“We are rooted, strengthened and grounded in Christ (Eph. 3:14-21)”

Sermon Audio

A few weeks ago, I was visiting a member of our congregation and our conversation turned to gardens.  They are a prolific master gardener even though their age and abilities should limit their work, they still willingly, gladly and diligently get up early to avoid the hot rays of the midday sun and stay out late to carefully, painstakingly weed, water and nurture the roots of the flowers and plants that bring the greatest joy and pleasure not only in their beauty, but reminding them of where they grew up.

As we were talking I asked if by chance they had heard of wygelia.  With a twinkle in their eye, I was joyfully regaled with which kind of wygelia they had in their yard and its beauty and depth of color.  We both agreed of its beauty and the care needed in order to insure the beautiful flowers in the spring and it pointed me to the truth we find this morning from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

This morning we continue our journey and Paul’s message for us today and it is simple but profound.  “We are rooted, strengthened and grounded in Christ”.  Just as my wygelia in Virginia could be rooted easily and grow to be 15 feet tall, the power we find in the Word of God clearly has its root in the truth of Holy Scripture and the beauty, truth and joy that it can bring our hearts when we share the Word of God.

Martin Luther understood this beauty, but also understood when he was a monk that God’s Word revealed the loving nature of God and by reading it, Luther rooted and connected himself to the timeless truths from God.  It not only found the sure footing, but strengthened him for what was to come. This is why Martin Luther understood this truth found in Holy Scriptures when he was a monk. At that time, they were only in Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  But Martin knew the people he was ministering to needed to be firmly grounded in the Word of God and this is why he translated the Bible into German, the common tongue, so the people could read the scriptures themselves. We who gather here today are gracefully given this opportunity because of Luther and therefore connected through Luther to Paul as well because, “We are rooted, strengthened and grounded in Christ”!

So firm of a foundation we have and are offered because of God’s great love for us that we can share it with everyone we meet.  We can insure that others can hear and become “rooted, strengthened and grounded” in the Word of God and share God’s Story and His love for mankind.  We can show our ‘roots’ and connections to God’s Word. Be strengthened by what we receive, not only from hearing the Word of God, but also and especially the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper that prepares us for eternal life.  Then firmly connect others to our grounding we find in the connection to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Recently we have all heard about the events in the Thai cave with the rescue of the boys and coach.  What does not come from mainstream media is the level and amount of prayers that were offered up throughout our world for the rescue of the coach and these young boys.  The reason the rescue was so crucial was that the rainy season was looming like a lion and would have cut off the team for nearly six months, without food and would have surely meant their ultimate demise.

Yet, throughout the world, and even here among the people of Emmanuel Export, the prayers lifted up to God, rooted in the knowledge that God could take care of this, not only strengthened the team in the cave, but also the divers and the rescuers and firmly grounded everyone in the truth that God was in control of this whole situation.  Thus, throughout the ordeal, the rain was abated and did not cause the panic nor catastrophic outcome of the loss of life of the team. When every boy, the coach and all the rescuers were finally out of the cave it was reported that once everyone was safe, the rains began to fall and the rainy season descended upon the Thai cave. That was not man’s doing, but it was clearly God’s way of showing a very profound truth and miracle for us even today, 2000 years after the time of Jesus Christ and Paul.

Our world was witness to another humanly unexplainable miracle that points clearly to what Paul reminds we who gather here today.  Though we are a world away, the prayers of the world and even our own prayers to our God in heaven connects us to our roots in Holy Scripture and the truth that Paul brings to us today.  “We are rooted, strengthened and grounded in Christ”!  AMEN!