Jesus spoke in parables often, and most of them are easily accessible for most of us even now in the 21st century. But some parables, while we can grasp them on some level, are really more powerful if you hear them with the ears of a person who lived in the time that Jesus lived. His agricultural parables for instance, unless you are deeply rooted (pun intended) in agriculture, the deeper significance can easily be lost. But they have so much to teach us if we will hear with the right ears.
Jesus told a parable about the farmer scattering seeds, and some sprouted right away, but because the soil was shallow, the root system of the crop was not able to drive down deep enough to find adequate water. And when the heat came on, “the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.” (Matthew 13:6) I thought a lot about this parable when I began praying for this place we call Magnolia Methodist when I learned that I was being appointed to serve as pastor here.
The health of the root system of a plant, or a magnolia tree, below ground determines the health of the tree above ground. A deep and broad root system allows the tree to access the water it needs to survive drought and heat. So how healthy are our roots and what are they tapped into? As Methodists, our theology, our understanding of how God relates to us, is deeply rooted in grace. And I hope that that becomes how we think of our own lives, our church, and our denomination.
We are rooted in grace…
Rev. Andrew Hook