studying at st barnabas

Rooted and Grounded in Love (Ephesians 3:14-21)


An excerpt of a sermon preached by Rev’d Wendy Morecroft at St Peter’s Cathedral at Evensong on Sunday 16 June 2019. Wendy recently completed the requirements for her Bachelor of Theology through St Barnabas College.

 In tonight’s reading from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I was instantly drawn to the word “grounded”, cognate with the word for “foundation”, either of a building or of a community. Christ is our foundation and Paul’s prayer is that we be planted or grafted, if you like, into his foundation.

The Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart, was also drawn to this metaphor of our inclusion into the divine life. According to Eckhart it is by allowing the Father to give birth to the Son in us, that we are “rooted and grounded” in the communal love of the Trinity through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is by love that we are united with God and we may enter into the inner ground of God. It is by this ever-flowing creation that we are incorporated into the life of the Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are constantly at work in us. It is in this way that we are filled with all fullness. It is in this way that we are one with God.

Paul’s prayer for us being rooted and grounded in love resonates with the writings of John Moses in his book The Language of Love. He reminds us that love

is the power in which the divine life has been lived from before the foundation of the world. Love is the power in which the divine life gives itself to the world. Love is the power which loves its own and loves to the end. Love is the power by which the Son lays down His life for us. Love is the power from which nothing in all creation will be able to separate us. (page xiv)

Moses explains that it is “not we who pray but God who prays in us.” As we read Paul’s beautiful prayer in tonight’s reading, let us be mindful that it is God who prays these things in us. It is God who works in us, strengthening us in our inner being with power through his Spirit. It is Christ who dwells in our hearts as we are being rooted and grounded in love. It is through God at work in us that we have the power 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. It is God who fills us with all God’s fullness.

Wendy Morecroft

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