I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. (Ephesians 3:16-17)
It is a new year! This means new opportunities, new beginnings – a chance to start over. This also means that it is resolution season. How will you start this new year off (eating, exercising, spending, working) right?
Since we live in Southern Louisiana, where Mardi Gras is a season, not just a day, and Lent is held in high regard, resolutions should be second nature to us. Lent is also the backup plan if we fall short on our resolutions over the next month and a half, because we will have yet another chance to begin to “do well” again.
As important as all of these resolutions and others like them are to our well-being, there is one that is often missing from our lists: love. More than simply loving better or loving more, what about strengthening our ties to the source of the love we give? All we do will be nothing without love, yet we are not an endless supply, in and of ourselves.
We all need the opportunity to grow, even in love. We do this first by deepening our roots. It is God’s good grace that we are to find our grounding there, in the richly abundant soil of God’s own self, who is Love. We must cultivate our relationship with God before we can show true care for others. However, we will never be able to truly develop that connection alone.
The irony is that we must grow our bond with God within a community, for our roots are not the only ones planted in this rich soil. We cannot see God, except in the faces of all the others who were made in God’s image. By welcoming and listening and conversing with one another, we learn more about who our God is and our grounding grows deeper. As our roots grow, then our branches then better able to spread – to support one another in greater ways and to reach out into the world and invite others into God’s orchard.
Consider including more time spent in a family of faith in your resolutions this year. These communities come in all shapes and sizes, for God meets us where we are. But if you are needing a home, people to love and welcome you, Highland will gladly be that family. We love to love on people, because in doing so, we share the love of Christ that God has given to us.
Now, I pray that you may have the power 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, so that you may be filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19).