Today’s message, from the Gospel according to Kelp Plants, is: “Hold fast.”
This remarkably strong and dense ball of tightly twined root-like material is called a kelp “holdfast.” It clings “fast” to the ocean floor rocks, anchoring the plant soaring 100 ft. above it through many years of wave and winter storms.
This small holdfast (compared to the towering stalk) is a dense, strong, deep anchor. And it teems with life itself - thousands of tiny organisms live in its hidden holes and crevices. In marine biology classes they do “hold fast dissections.”
It is not a root system, for the kelp does not get nourishment from the rock it holds onto; rather the plants are fed through their leaves, called blades, thanks to the motion of the water and photosynthesis. But when kelp is finally ripped off those rocks by a winter storm, it dies, having lost its anchor. (The kelp we see on the beach after a storm is less than 5% of all anchorless kelp; most sinks to the ocean floor and feeds animals waiting in the dark for that gift from above.)
Our marine preacher, the kelp, proclaims, “Hold fast to that which is good.”
For some, these words are a familiar Biblical benediction. They can also bring comfort in these dark Advent days of waiting, and in this global time of worry and fear. Hold fast. Find a rock, a foundation, and hold on.
My “French-Word-A-Day” lesson last week was “Tiens bon.” Yes, the author said, it is hard here in France to have hope and faith. But, she added, we are “holding on,” we say to each other, “Tiens bon.”
There’s hidden life teeming in our strong anchor. It can weather many a storm. Ultimately it will give life to countless other lives.
Behold and hold on!! Tiens bon!
(Photo by Chad King, NOAA, was taken right off “Lover’s Point” in Pacific Grove. Little know fact; the Methodist founders of PG named it “Lovers of Jesus Point.” Somehow that name no longer is on