Remember The Root Command: We Are All Rooted in Christ, Unto Each Other: Abiding in Love into a Hurting World. Colossians 1:1-8, John 15:15-17

Colossians 1:1-8 The Message

1-2 I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God’s master plan. Together with my friend Timothy, I greet the Christians and stalwart followers of Christ who live in Colossae. May everything good from God our Father be yours!

Working in His Orchard

3-5 Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! We keep getting reports on your steady faith in Christ, our Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians. The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.

5-8 The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you. From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you’ve been hungry for more. It’s as vigorous in you now as when you learned it from our friend and close associate Epaphras. He is one reliable worker for Christ! I could always depend on him. He’s the one who told us how thoroughly love had been worked into your lives by the Spirit.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

It is wonderful when someone comes into the kingdom of God.

That person receives God’s gift of grace through faith in Jesus, and they begin a new life of walking with the Holy Spirit.

The new believer realizes that their old life of selfish pursuits offers nothing that will ever satisfy.

They have turned their back on the darkness and are enjoying the light of the world, Jesus. Praise God for his love!

Paul is filled with thanks to hear that the people of Colossae have come to faith in Christ Jesus and are showing their love for all God’s people.

He even says, “We always thank God . . . when we pray for you . . .”

They have become wonderful examples of living by faith in Jesus.

They believe and trust, they love, and they hope in what God has already stored up in heaven for them.

Drawing all this together, we can witness and testify with Paul that the faith of the new Colossian believers was rooted in Jesus Christ.

But What of the Root Witness and Testimony of a More Mature Community of Faith Such as Today’s?

John 15:15-17 Amplified Bible

15 I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father. 16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. 17 This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another.

John 15:16-17 The Message

16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.

The Bible is often referred to as a love letter or love story; an incomparable history of hearts laid bare, broken, hurting and taking great pains, believing.

Filled with incomparable songs of love, promises of love, and commands to love, God’s Word is clear – Love, rooted in Christ is our purpose, our mission.

I believe we embrace the Bible as a love story in no small part because the Bible shows us, testifies to us exactly and exactingly who, whose we are—sins and all.

It pulls us up by our roots, from the dirt and dust in Genesis through a far off cataclysm of warfare unto final victory through our Savior Christ in Revelation.

And yet, at the heart of it is still the refrain that God so loves the world, anyway.

It’s most interesting to note that although Jesus talks about loving God, your neighbor, enemies and more all throughout Scripture, he wraps his message of love in John 15 in that of abiding in him, even though the world may not love us.

He begins with the image of himself as the vine we draw sustenance from His roots and yet ends with the reality that the world will hate those who love him.

As he paints a picture of humanity stretching forth into the Kingdom of God, bearing fruit only by the power of the vine rooted securely in Christ, he says in John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

To be sure the importance of his command is felt, he says it again in John 15:17, with greater clarity:

This is my command: Love each other.

Or as the Message Bible states it:

“Remember the Root Command: Love One Another.

John 15:1-10 The Message

The Vine and the Branches

15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.

5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.

Let’s note some general observations about how we each grow as Christians.

Let’s consider how our spiritual growth is gracious, gradual, and guaranteed.

One of the most important things we ought to notice about spiritual growth and wellness is that spiritual growth and wellness is the result of God’s work in us.

Though we each definitely have a critically important role to play, even our determination to flourish with the fruit of the Spirit is evidence of God’s grace.

The Holy Spirit is the one who empowers, inspires, stimulates our inner desire to grow in Christ, to stay rooted in Christ and to branch out from Christ alone.

Growth is gracious.

Growth is slow and steady and sometimes painful to watch and to experience.

As we watch the new sprouts emerge from the cold of winter into the spring, it takes a great deal of time and effort for that sprout to emerge from the branch.

But those new sprouts will emerge, will grow, will be nourished to full bloom only from the truest quality and quantity of the trees centralized root system.

We water the ground under the tree to give it a chance to grow deep and strong.

We fertilize the ground around the tree to provide additional growth nutrients.

Creator God does the rest underground where we cannot see, have any control.

Jesus is offering himself here, as he does for eternity, as our unseen root source of true, abundant life when our winterized lives requires us to re-emerge in the spring season, to choose to reach for the “Son-light”, choose love over death.

He is assuring us that we draw our ability to draw our nourishment, our love from Him—the only vine that makes our inept winterized branches bear fruit.

Without him, we wither and amount to nothing as he describes in verse 6.

The one who loves us so much that he gives his very lifeblood to reconcile us to our Creator knows…that as his followers, we’re up against a world of hatred.

So, he commands us: root ourselves to hatred or to love, to choose love anyway!


Remain in him.

Remember His words. And, as he says in John 15:10, “keep my commands.”

So, What Did This Look Like In That Upper Room?

Luke 24:36-43 New King James Version

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 [a]When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish [b]and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

What does this “Stay Rooted in the Vine” “Stay Rooted in Christ” look like for an imperfect human, a group of imperfect human beings, in a hurting world?

It often takes surrendering your perceptions of what being rooted in an agenda really means – rooted to the Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of our enemy.

The resurrected Jesus Himself came and stood among His frightened disciples.

And the first words out of His mouth were: “Peace to You!”

Then to further settle the moment further: He asks, “Why are you troubled?”

The resurrected Jesus takes immediate command of the moment.

Immediately turns everyone’s eyes, ears, hearts spirits and souls to Him alone.

Away from their fear of everything external over which they have zero control.

40 [a]When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish [b]and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

For the disciples to respond, it definitely required a willingness to claim utter dependence on a love supply greater than any of them, and perfect in its plan.

It definitely required them to step away from themselves in moment of their gravest doubts and concerns over their futures – to consider sharing with their resurrected Messiah, a meal of fish and honeycomb, then to watch Him eat it!

We have to give our doubts and our fears and our brokenness permission to see the entrance of our resurrected Savior, hear His words of peace and of comfort over our paralyzing words of anxiety, our self-deprecating words of abject fear.

When Peace Like a River Attendeth our Ways and Sorrows like Sea Billows Roll, Welcome His Presence, Welcome His Words, Welcome His offer of a good meal.

Remaining Rooted in the Love of Christ, remembering to remain rooted in His Love involves our consciously seeking Him in our prayers when hatred prowls around, like a crouching lion seeking to rip away and to burn up our branches.

It means our crying, asking God for the wisdom to choose love, instead of hate.

It means overcoming, our seeing even those who hate us as needing love, too.

Does Jesus say to set those haters straight?

Does Jesus say to bear a grudge, go passive -aggressive, angry, rotten fruit?

Not at all. He later says in John 15:27 that in presence of hate, we testify.

By judging?

By dividing and conquering and failing at both?

By divisiveness?

By poking “sharp sticks” into each other’s eyes?

By casting stones and sometimes even boulders at each other?

Performing on a stage whose audience is waiting for the “last one standing?”

Well, In this passage, there’s only way – By remaining rooted in Christ’s loving.

Philippians 2:1-4 New King James Version

Unity Through Humility

2 Therefore if there is any [a]consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

So, rather than get our branches in a twist, and risk breaking off from the One strong enough to grow us, let’s not respond to the reality of hate with hate.

Let’s abide, by asking what the vine would have us do to show His love instead.

Friends, my prayer is we will have faith in Christ Jesus; my hope for us is, that in Jesus’ name we are loving others, giving ourselves up for them, and growing in hope in all that God has promised and Christ is storing up for us in heaven.

Remember the Root Command: Stay rooted in Christ,

Let’s abide, by asking what the vine would have us do to show His love instead.

Anticipating the reality of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Psalm 46 The Message

46 1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in sea storm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.

    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,

    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”

11     Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

Adeste Fidelis! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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