January 1, 2015 - Rooted In Christ

January 1, 2015 - Rooted In Christ
Jeremy D. Scott

Colossians 2:6-12
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
continue to live your lives in him,
rooted and built up in him and established in the faith...

So it’s a new calendar year. (I thought I’d tell you just in case you didn’t catch all the “Best of 2014” video montages on the news or in your Facebook feed.) While the Church began a new year with the first Sunday of Advent several weeks ago, our civic calendar begins afresh today. When we stop to think about it, we know that today is a day like any other: there will be a total of 24 hours, food will need to be consumed, and you will hopefully head to bed at some point this evening. It turns out that what makes days special or unique is the way that we look at them and what we make of them.

Often New Year’s Day is seen as an opportunity for a fresh start. If only we saw every day as a new and fresh start! In this season of Christmas (today’s the eighth day), we continue to remember the new start for all of creation that came with the incarnation of Christ. While a new baby is quite a sudden change for a family, the newness upon creation that Christ’s birth began is still yet coming to fruition. The angels sang in the sky and all that, but what changed immediately across the earth? When we think about it, we believe that the change is still happening. It happens through you and through me and through what we do together as the Church, moved by the Spirit of God to the ends of hope, love, joy, and peace.

New Year’s Resolutions are now infamous for their failure. Perhaps part of the problem is that they seek such drastic and immediate change. Sometimes it works, but more often than not, those commitments to exercising, eating better, or being more disciplined tend to fade very, very quickly. Why is it that our best-intentioned efforts often fail?

Colossians speaks of being “rooted” in Christ. Roots are incredible things. Some root systems are as much as four times the diameter of the actual plant. So what one sees above ground is the result of much, much more that’s happening beneath the surface. Our lives, grounded in Christ, might be seen as the same.

Many people begin their lives in Christ in crisis moments: an altar experience or a prayer prayed at the end of a revival service. Others were born into the Church and grew into the faith of Christ. Either way, faith is now for us a thing in progress. We are now sending our roots deeper, seeping them into the soil looking for the nutrients of grace and love. While it may seem like hard work, perhaps we can see it more as falling into grace.

New Year’s resolutions may take hard work. Faith takes hard intentionality, but “work” isn’t quite the right word. Perhaps this year we can work less toward trying harder and more toward letting go and falling into grace.

God of all Creation: As society around us turns the page on one year and looks to another, thank you for this day that you have made with the sun rising like any other. I give myself to you this day and offer my life again as a vessel traveling in and through your grace. Amen.