It has been given the name “Frankenstein tree,” and for good reason. This tree produced 40 different varieties of fruit, some of which include cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. Van Aken is the “mad scientist” behind these vegetation monstrosities. He is able to craft these trees through a process known as grafting. To put it simply, grafting is a special way of cutting off the branch on one tree and attaching it to a different tree. Once the branch heals, it will produce fruit just like it would on the original tree (Yahoo). In Romans 11:16-23, Paul is having a conversation with the Jews and Gentiles. These two parties have had many heated disagreements about the people God was actually accepting into His fold. Paul then offers the illustration of a tree. He explains that Christ, the root of the tree, is holy, and therefore anyone that is attached to this holy tree is also holy (vs. 16). He goes on to explain that over time God has broken off some branches and grafted on others (vs. 17). Since God first accepted the Jews, they are the “natural branches” in this discussion. Those Jews who left God have been broken off of the tree. The Gentiles are the “grafted branches” since they weren’t first accepted by God. Both are now able to be a part of God’s tree. Best of all, both Jews and Gentiles who are willing to change their ways and followed God are able to be grafted onto this holy tree. It’s pretty amazing that grafting is possible at all, but we should be especially thankful that God is willing to graft us in spiritually. We certainly didn’t earn it or deserve it, but what an incredible blessing it is. However, we cannot just sit by, there is work to do. Many places in scripture make it clear that we must produce fruit or we will be cut off from the tree (John 15; Matthew 7; 13; Luke 6). It’s a tremendous honor and blessing to be in God’s tree, the church. God’s church is made up of so many unique and talented people. Like the variety of different branches that have been grafted on, we all have a role and purpose to play (1 Corinthians 12). So let’s keep working hard and producing fruit for the Lord (Galatians 5:22-23).