By Felix Carrion, United Church of Christ
Excerpt from Romans 11:13-29
“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, do not vaunt yourselves over the branches. If you do vaunt yourselves, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.”
What Paul was trying to do after his conversion is bring together the Gentiles and Jews of his day. Paul has embraced a new understanding of who belongs in the graces of God, and his mission is to graft them onto each other.
Life is the grafting of basic elements that creates new forms. Nothing remains on its own. For example, the culinary creations of the people and cultures of the world are products of how foods and spices were brought together to make something richer. Musical notes “do” this, too. They graft onto each other and make music. Solitary notes that remain solitary cannot produce a symphony. Had hydrogen and oxygen “walked” in opposite directions after meeting, you and I would not be here. In essence, the things that come together in elemental ways are the things that have the power to create grace and faith, wonder and gratitude, beauty and art.
So, today graft onto your life a different theological outlook, a different musical piece, a food you’ve never tried, engage in a new conversation with another — and begin to experience the power and wonder of elemental life fusing and creating what did not exist before.
O God, may we open ourselves to the new creations you are grafting and fusing in us. Amen.
About the Author
Felix Carrion is Coordinator of The Stillspeaking Ministry, United Church of Christ.