The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Rose Grafts and the Engrafted Word

Standard Rose with two grafts - Fragrant Cloud.

KJV James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.

Good News James 1:21 So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.

Although WELS has blessed every translation (especially the NNIV) this comparison shows how the Gospel can be distorted to become Law. "Receive" which is parallel to "believe" becomes "accept," which is used in "making a decision for Christ."

  1. Get rid of.
  2. Submit.
  3. Accept.

Grafting is one of those on-going wonders of Creation, where two similar plants can be fused together, to obtain the characteristics of both.  

The typical hybrid tea rose has one graft, called the bud union.




The wild rose is used for the roots, because it is hardier than the hybrid tea's foundation. The showy part is grafted so everyone gets the strength of the wild rose and the beauty of hybrid tea.

A standard rose (sometimes called a tree rose) has two grafts. Someone decided they could grow roses for their long canes. The cane is grafted onto the wild rose base, and the hybrid tea is grafted onto the standard.


Pascali as a standard rose.
These cost $50, compared to $30 for a hybrid tea.



Grafting explains why this passage from James is such a beautiful expression of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit grafts the Gospel promises onto our wild base, and the fruits of the Spirit shows themselves, even though the base remains coarse.


Sometimes the hybrid tea part will freeze and die, leaving only the wild rose to grow. If you see a large plant with plenty of small and unattractive blooms, it is likely a rose that has gone wild, as they say. 

Apostates are similar. They give up faith in God's Word but want to show off their vast but unattractive fruits. They praise one another to help convince the population that they are as grand as ever - but they have killed the tender graft. They can only ape believers. No wonder they praise one another while stealing sermons and clawing money into their bottomless pockets.


 The Tricolor standard rose is ideal for the indecisive.

The engrafted Word teaches the efficacy of the Gospel in one, short phrase.

Receive with meekness is another phrase filled with meaning. Receiving is often used in the New Testament as another way to express believing.

John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believedin his name, he gave the right to become children of God

Meekness is a quality of Christ. When the Gospel is grafted onto us, we also receive His meekness. And we should look to His meekness as something to emulate.

Matthew 11:9 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Although the focus of James is living the Gospel, that does not mean the Gospel is absent in this short but vivid epistle. 

James 1:21 has become a classic in the Christian Faith, often quoted. 

In meekness, believe the Gospel, which the Spirit grafted onto your heart.


Queen Elizabeth rose.