Summary: Making sure we are rooted and grounded in Christ that brings hope and life not just looking good and decorated on the outside like our Christmas Tree which are dying and life-less

Rooted and Grounded in Christ

As I was pondering on what to share today, I began to think about my Christmas tree...yes my Christmas tree. I'm not sure what your typical tradition is, but we typically put up our tree as soon as possible after Thanksgiving day. And of course, we always get a REAL tree, I'm pretty sure that was a nonnegotiable clause in our marriage vows- but my wife and I agree real trees are an absolute necessity. They are prettier, they smell better, and they simply just bring a different kind of life into the home vs a plastic fake tree. For all its beauty however, there's still just one problem that can never be solved- it's still a dead tree.

Once you cut it down and bring it home there is a little bit of life left in it as attempts to hold on for dear life. A fresh cut tree can consume over a gallon of water in the first 24 hours, after that it begins to taper off from a couple of quarts to almost nothing. This I experienced in the last week before Christmas- that first week it seemed I couldn't put enough water in, almost like a thirsty dog- as soon as I watered it, it seemed to disappear. Then as time went by it seemed it needed less and less until by Christmas day it seemed it simply stopped drinking all together... a sign that it had finally and completely died, even though it still looked beautiful on the outside.

So what does this have to do with anything? Well the reason that the tree had died is because for the first time in its life, it did not have any roots. For years it grew, then one day it was cut down, sawed off flat to be propped up and decorated beautifully for a short time, but only to be tossed in the fire or thrown to the wayside. And when you think about Christmas as a whole, that is how many people view the advent season- simply a time to remind ourselves that Jesus is important (at least for a little while) but after Christmas day comes and goes, many return to the same old lives and the way they lived before. Why? Because the hope is gone, no longer are they inundated with songs of hope and joy on the radio or TV and so they end up right back where they were before the Christmas Season began- simply put- THEY HAD NO ROOTS to keep them founded in Love and Hope and Peace. They simply got decorated up for a short time but them began to wither and die once more after it was all finished.

Today I wish to read to you a passage that is incredibly important to all of us, Christians AND non, because it explains to us what is necessary to keep our Hope and Joy and Peace EVERY day of the year aside from Christmas.

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work in us. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

(Eph. 3:14-21)

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and build up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving"

(Colossians 2:6-7)

I. The Problem: No Roots

A. Throughout the year people are ALWAYS looking for peace and joy, and hope, and safety and protection and contentment. This is even found prevalent among Christians. The problem is, it's rarely found. Today in our society it is often found temporarily in worldly things, financial gain, acquisition of things, maybe the feeling of euphoria in a romantic relationship or a high status job. And though these things are nice, they simply don't last.

B. Then comes the season of Christmas and for a short time as I said, people are reminded (whether they believe it or not) what the REAL source of peace is- that is hope and faith in Jesus Christ

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