Rooted and Grounded

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Ephesians 3:14-21

. . . as you are being rooted and grounded in love. (v. 17 NRSV)

The storm in my hometown was ferocious, with 120-mph winds knocking down some 30 trees. A number of them were completely uprooted. Just a few days later, half way around the world, an earthquake in a large city felled tall buildings, killing many people. It was later discovered that many of the structures lacked a secure foundation.

In this text the apostle Paul prays that Christ may dwell in the hearts of his readers. To communicate his message he uses metaphors from horticulture and architecture: “as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” It is not insignificant that Paul uses perfect passive verbs, indicating that something has taken place in the past and continues into the present and signifying that this is something that happens to us, not something we do. The Holy Spirit has done this work in us, and its effects continue to this day.

Like trees with deep roots, able to withstand wild winds, and like buildings with solid foundations, able to survive traumatizing earthquakes, our love is strong because Christ dwells within us through the Spirit. Being rooted and grounded in love, Paul continues, enables us to comprehend all things. What we know depends on what we love. As we advance in love, may we grow in our knowledge of God and the world.


Loving God, root and ground us in your love.