A few years back, an artist grafted a tree together that was capable of growing 40 different kinds of fruits. This is a more extravagant picture of what Paul presents in his letter to the Romans. There he pictures the Jewish people as an olive tree that God grew and non-Jewish people as wild olives branches that were grafted into God’s tree.
And here’s something important for us to catch in this metaphor: when we are grafted into the olive tree, we are still wild olives. Our origins are different. Yes, grafting makes us the same entity, but we’re also still unique from the original tree—and that’s okay. Indeed, that’s God’s desire.
This is important for white Christianity to catch onto. If you look at our missionary work, you’ll see that we have not turned people of other cultures into Christians, but into white Christians. If you look at the multiethnic churches we have in America, you’ll notice that their church services are still white-looking. We’re one wild branch trying to force other wild branches to be like us instead of be themselves.
Yes, the church is one, but it’s diverse in it’s oneness. Let’s work hard to maintain and celebrate that diversity within our unity.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Romans 11:13-24 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net. Below are the various AI-created pictures I typed into existence via Mid Journey to mock up artwork for today’s post.