My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Friday, December 2, 2011
Appreciate the Roots
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild
olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the
rich root of the olive tree,
(Romans 11:17 NASB)
do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
(Romans 11:18 NASB)
The Israelites were God's chosen people and in this analogy by Paul
they are the roots. We (Gentiles) have been privileged to be grafted
into the tree. They were privileged to be partakers of the rich root.
That is, God had planned for them to be partakers of His divine nature.
Now, as a branch which is grafted into the tree, we too can become
partakers of His divine nature. We should not look with arrogance on
the children of Israel, but rather, be grateful for what was begun
through them. We are simply branches and the branches grow because of
the nourishment they receive from the root. We are privileged to be
connected to the root because we have been grafted into the tree. May
we be grateful for the grace which has been extended to us!
In the fourth century a man named Gregory (known as the
Theologian), wrote about his parents and how they came to faith in
Christ Jesus. Utilizing this same scripture as background, he referred
to his mother, Nonna as the great olive tree. That is, his mother was a
follower of Christ and was extremely strong in her faith. His father,
(also Gregory) was not a believer. He actually belonged to some strange
cult of their day known as the Hipsistarians. Nonna -- the strong one,
the olive tree -- began to pray for her husband that one day he might be
grafted into the tree. She prayed for years and years when finally her
prayers were described as the "drip which hollows out the stone." Her
husband finally turned toward the Lord, and their son describes his
father as the branch which is grafted into the mighty tree. The father
is the new graft, while Nonna is the strong and mighty tree. Gregory
goes on to say that his father grew quickly in his faith and became
strong because Nonna's roots were so deep that they were able to nourish
her and her husband alike.
Gregory has immortalized his mother Nonna in his writings but has
helped us to see a practical application of this scripture from Paul.
Too often we don't take the time to appreciate the depths of the roots
which are partakers together with God. In this case, a woman was deeply
united to God. She lived with an unbelieving husband for many years,
never giving up on him. Ultimately the strength of her faith was enough
to support her husband and soon after his conversion he became a Priest
and Bishop. Their children were all followers of Christ. Her second
son became the physician to the Emperor and even debated the Emperor
over Christianity -- and won!
Too often these days we look at the branches and want to ooh and ah
over their beauty. May we never forget to look at and appreciate the
roots. They aren't pretty but without them the branches will die. Be
grateful for those who have gone before us who have been willing to dig
deep and put down the roots for all of eternity. Only there can we be
partakers together with Him. Only there do we receive real strength and
Lord, I am grateful for those who have gone before me who have been
willing to go deep with You. Please, help us today to pay the price
that it takes to go deep. Amen.