They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.
Jeremiah 17:8 (NRSV)
Rootedness is an essential character of the Christian life. At Paul Huffman’s funeral I shared that his life was one of intense rootedness, spending most of his 97 years right here in this zip code. For those who relocate every so often for work or other reasons, it’s still possible to remain rooted by faith in Christ to lasting hope, peace, and security.
In this time of upheaval and change, when the future might seem less certain than it used to and our divisions seem to grow by the day, rootedness is a value worth cultivating. Taking time each morning to reflect on your life, to meditate on the scriptures, and to center yourself in a hope that is bigger than the things which seek to fragment and frighten you leads us each into deeper rootedness. Taking concrete steps in forgiving someone, in serving someone without hope of reward, in loving people we don’t understand, will lead us each into deeper rootedness.
As Peter and I head to Annual Conference this weekend, we bring hope and a good story to tell about our ministry here. We have seen healthy increases in worship attendance and faithful continuation of new mission commitments to the elderly and the homeless in Hunterdon County. We have improved our facility to better reach our community and may be on the verge of welcoming a Head Start preschool in our downstairs offering early childhood education to children in our community. We have five people who have transitioned to tithing online which will help us have clearer financial reporting and a better sense of how we are doing in reaching our stewardship goals. God is working in and moving through the people of Flemington UMC to make disciples of Jesus Christ and bring about the transformation of this world.
Even in uncertain times, I am encouraged by you all and by this God we worship who “does not give us a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power and love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7) We can be rooted in Christ, rooted in joy, rooted in hope, and rooted in peace today.
Grace and Peace,