Summary: A children’s sermon illustrating our need to be rooted and grounded in Christ.
Children’s talk: Ephesians 3:14-21
Prop: Small Oak tree in a pot.
Can anyone tell me what type of plant is in this pot? (Oak). Not that long ago, this little oak was just a small seed. Can anyone tell me what the seed of an oak is called? (Acorn). There’s even a well known proverb which says "A big tree out of a little acorn grows". If you hear someone say that, what they mean is that even though something might be very small and insignificant now, there is every chance that if everything goes well that thing will be very big and significant in the future.
In our reading from Ephesians, Paul writes that the Christians there are "rooted and established" in God’s love. Do you think this little Oak tree is rooted and established? Yes it’s got a long way to go before it becomes a big oak tree, but if I were to pull it out of the pot (which I won’t do) you would see that it has many roots running throughout the soil in the pot. What are the roots for? Firstly, the little tree draws water and nutrients out of the soil which combined with light from the sun provide the energy to help it grow. Secondly, the roots give it strength. If there were no roots, there would be nothing to anchor the tree to the ground and it would just blow away at the first puff of wind. The reason why we can sit up against the base of a large tree on a sunny day and eat a sandwich without the tree falling over is that the tree has deep and wide and strong roots anchoring it firmly into the ground.
Now what would happen if our little tree here had no soil? What about if it was always kept in the dark? What if it never had any water? It would shrivel up and die wouldn’t it?
Now if we are a Christian, our reading tells us that we are rooted and grounded in God’s love. This little tree here helps us to understand what that means. Firstly, all people, whether or not they believe in God are kept alive by Him. God provides the air and water that we need, He provides food and clothing and homes for us to live in. In fact every single breath that we take is a gift from God. We are totally dependent upon Him.
Now from a spiritual point of view, according to our Bible reading, only the Christian is rooted and grounded in Christ. What that means is that the Christian is God’s child, God’s friend. The Christian has been forgiven for all the things that he or she has ever done wrong. The Christian need not have any fear in life or death because they know that Christ died for them upon the cross, and it is Christ’s death, his body and blood given for us that makes us clean and good in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Yes as Christians we still do bad things and often we let God and others down by our mistakes, but the difference is we are forgiven because we have chosen to be rooted in God rather than rooted in this world.
The next bit in our reading is just as wonderful. Paul writes: that the love of Christ is so deep, so long and so high and so wide that it is more than we can understand. What’s the highest thing that you can think of? (Well Christ’s love is even higher than that). What’s the deepest thing you can think of? (Well Christ’s love is even deeper than that). What’s the widest thing you can think of? (Well Christ’s love is even wider than that).
What this means is that God loves us. God loves us so much that there is nothing that we can do or say to make Him stop loving us. His love is wider than our mistakes, his love is higher and deeper than all our sins and he proved this by stretching out his arms on the cross so wide that all our many sins could be forgiven. In John 3:16 we read:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Therefore let us learn to put our faith and trust in God if we have not already done so. Let us put our roots down in the love of Christ and let us let Him nurture us so that like the Oak tree we can grow big and strong. Amen.