WD Feb 15
Read Jeremiah 17:7-8
Did you know that among 21 meanings for the word root, you can find the following usage and observations, most of which you never wanted to know.
Established tree roots extend one or two times the height of the tree.* (In my yard, dandelion roots extend one or two times the height of trees also.)
Marshmallow root supplies healthy gastric mucosa.** (And you’ve been eating only the white part!)
Many dentists float their boats on root canals.
Computers have root drives. Dell alone collected 1,234,567 roots during their last one.
Carrots are nutritious orange roots, which in their original colors were red, black, yellow, white, and purple.*** (I found one of the originals in the back of my mother’s refrigerator once; however, she wasn’t impressed by my scientific discoveries. Often she wouldn’t even let me make my discoveries public!)
Did you know that deep roots help you withstand heat? That’s what Jeremiah said, and he wasn’t talking about dandelions. He was talking about trust, or faith, in the Lord.
How often do you get heat exhaustion? Among the root causes of heat exhaustion are cranky congregation members or paedomorphic1 parents. Often they manifest themselves by complaining that the only thing the youth group has learned is how to wash cars or that prohibition of waving to mom during the choir anthem is intolerable, unacceptable, and even punishable by 40 lashes with a double-edged tongue.
As church work professionals, we face a career filled with heat. Sometimes we don’t deserve the heat and sometimes we do, like when we’re disorganized, unprepared, careless, or unprofessional. Sin is an open invitation to heat. Certainly, Satan smolders in the background, eager to hurl huge huffs of heat our way. But like a tall oak, our roots are deep enough to withstand the heat.
We didn’t grow our own roots. Jesus supplied them through His life, death, and resurrection. He is the root cause of our salvation. The Holy Spirit spreads our spiritual roots deep and wide, nourishing them with Word and sacrament. Roots deep in God’s Word and blessings prevent the heat from blistering our faith.
But there’s more! Anchored as we are in forgiveness, we’re able to gather students under the cool shade of forgiveness shared. And by the Spirit’s power, we help them withstand the heat of peer pressure, malicious media, and disintegrating decency.
Faith and trust are synonymous. With roots deep in God’s fertile grace, we trust Him to do what’s best for us. And while doubts sometime snap a few of our branches or bruise our trunk, He keeps our roots firmly entrenched in the depths of His mercy and power.
Roots. It was a book. Sometimes they are square. Perhaps they’re in the form of family, congregational, or community ties. But the best root of all is the Root of Jesse, more commonly known as Jesus Christ, loving Savior, the root cause of our joy.
Prayer Thought: Ask the Holy Spirit to keep you and your students firmly rooted in God’s Word.
1 describes an organism that retains juvenile characteristics in the adult form (American Heritage Talking Dictionary)
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