Monday, July 4, 2011

Roots: Proper 10, Year A

This Week's Lectionary Texts

This Week's Reflection
Roots mean something. It is a common analogy that we use, isn't it? In order to grow strong and bear much fruit, we have to have deep roots. That is why it is shocking when Esau is willing to give up his birthright for a bowl of stew. In a way, Jacob convinces Esau that he doesn't need to worry about any roots whatsoever, that the here and now is what matters. And, because his belly was grumbling, Esau didn't need too much to be convinced. "Cut me off from my family and my inheritance. I don't care as long as my desires are filled immediately."

As a person who was raised in a society of immediate gratification supported by drive-through windows, microwaves, and Google, I have to admit that I struggle with this myself. Allowing time for an idea to grow and mature doesn't come easily for me. So what are we Gen Xers (and our friends on either side of our generation) supposed to do with our faith? How are we to "put down roots" in the good soil so that our faith will grow strong and produce good fruit when we haven't learned the patience necessary for gardening?

I love the parable of the sower from Matthew because Jesus felt it was so important that he actually explains it after telling the story. I do imagine him so fed up with folks just not getting it that once he looked in their faces and saw that once again they had no clue what he was talking about, he decided to say, "Okay, let's take this slowly. Here is what I meant by that."

And, what he says that he meant was that we have to allow the Word to fall deep within us in order for our lives to be all that God dreams they can be. We have to have roots, deep roots of the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in order to bear the fruit that will feed God's children. When we expect our faith to come in a tidy cardboard box with a gender specific toy delivered to us immediately and asking very little of us in return, then we can expect to wither on the vine. Developing roots takes time. It requires patience. And, it will produce more than we could ever imagine.

This Week's Art
in order of appearance in the reflection