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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler


There is a science experiment in our back yard right now. I cannot tell you if it will be successful, but we are sure hoping it will be. We set up 15 propagation balls (the picture above). We ordered them online and were so excited that we immediately went into the back yard and attached them to our 3 apple trees, saskatoon bushes, the lilacs, and a sumac tree.

You see we sense we are moving, that was the “adventure” I alluded to at the end of the video last week. We cannot take all our trees with us and then we found out about propagation balls. Basically, you carefully peel the bark off of about 2” of a tree branch and then attach the balls over top which you have loaded with dirt. Click them shut and twist tie them and apparently in 15-21 days a root ball will grow inside then simply cut the branch off and you have a new tree complete with root to plant.

Trees fascinate me. I learned a bit more about trees over in Israel, which is in turmoil this week. Missiles are being fired, people have been killed and it is a real mess, please keep Israel in your prayers.

When I was there we were taken to a squared off fenced area in which stood one enormous tree – an olive tree.

It is known to be one of the oldest olive trees in Israel, hundreds and possibly thousands of years old. We were told that it is impossible to know how old an olive tree is because they grow up as shoots and wrap themselves around each other, intertwine and become as one.

When you cut any other kind of tree you can count the rings across the trunk to get its approximate age but because the shoots intertwine in the olive tree, you cannot get an accurate count of the rings. You cannot grasp where one starts and another stops.

There are ways to graft new shoots into an existing olive tree, therefore you can have an old olive tree with new wild olive branches that have been grafted into it.

Grafting is the act of placing a portion of one plant (bud or scion) into or on a stem, root, or branch of another (stock) in such a way that a union will be formed, and the partner plants will continue to grow.

The practice of grafting can be traced back 4,000 years to ancient China and Mesopotamia, way before our propagation balls.

Grafting is a technique that vegetatively joins two plants into one, unlike our propagation balls that grow 2 of the same plants from one.

In agriculture, a graft is a cutting of one branch which is whittled down to allow a branch from another tree to join it and grow on it. You tape the two branches together and allow them to “heal together, to form a union”. If you take an orange tree and graft an apple tree branch to it, each branch will still grow its own oranges and the other branch the apples. The grafting does not produce a “joint or hybrid” fruit. Each one still grows what it is supposed to, but they now share the roots.

“A union is formed and the partners will continue to grow together.” Co-heirs, jointly sharing the same root system, not better, just different. This is a perfect description of the church. The church is made of many different people and cultures. It started with the Jewish nation and the call to Abraham with the formation of a band of people called the Israelites. The Israelites today are known as Jews and there are many different kinds along with many different distinctions to each denomination.

Amongst the mix is a section of Jews known as Messianic Jews. These are the Jewish believers who recognize that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the promised Messiah, that the Old Testament talked about. The first church, the disciples of Jesus, were the first Messianic Jews.

Christians or followers of Jesus Christ also have many different cultures and distinctions but as a whole they trust in Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross done on their behalf.

Together the Jew’s and Christians have become grafted together because of their belief in God. The Christians do not become Jewish, nor do the Jewish people become Christians, the two were joined or grafted together as partners and formed a unique union, known as the church.

The Christians could not come to know about God without the Jewish disciples (the ones from Jesus day, the first church) who took the Good News of Jesus out to the world. The Jewish nation today, needs the prayer and support of the Christians until such a time as all the Jewish nation is certain that their Messiah – Jesus Christ has come and is coming back. We need each other equally.

Together the Jews and the Christians each being branches of the tree of the church, cling to the trunk of the tree and get their food, their sustenance from the trees roots, the foundation of the tree, the stability, namely God.

What a beautiful description of the church. It is not a building, rather a group of diverse people who have been grafted together into the same tree and take nourishment from the same root. A match that could only be made in heaven.

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