by Christine Berglund
When the good Lord made the earth, he set in motion the laws of Nature. Plants reproduce after their kind (Genesis 1:11, 12).
He put the DNA material in them to allow hybridizers to develop different varieties, but in general, plants grown from good seeds will precisely replicate the parent plant.
It is with this confidence that I planted the seeds last February for the delectable Black Krim heirloom tomatoes that I had discovered last season. We decided that we would be happy if all tomatoes tasted this good, even though they were as ugly as tomatoes can get.
We borrowed a large grow-light setup from a good friend, and carefully planted the little plastic cells with the seeds ordered online. Every day I would use a spray bottle to keep the potting medium moist, but not so wet that the seeds would rot. We put the grow lights on a timer, so that they would be sure to get enough light to get that head start that they needed to give us early tomatoes.
Two of them were tenderly planted in the cold frame, to keep the late frosts from freezing them while they got used to being outside. The rest were repotted into larger containers, and spent most of the mild days outside near our back walk. They were taken in to the garage on frosty nights. Well, almost all the frosty nights.
Good thing I still had seeds, right? A new planting was made in late March, and the same care was taken to ensure that we would have these tasty, purple-green tomatoes for summer harvest.
Here it is August, and we finally get to reap the harvest of the careful seed-starting and growing. Our first plant, saved from that fateful frost and planted in April, produced in June. We thought it was odd that the tomatoes were pink and oddly shaped and deeply ribbed.
By the time the second one started producing a few weeks ago, this time a dusty red color without the telltale green shoulders of the Black Krim, we knew there was a problem. Not only had the seeds been mislabeled, but they were not even all the same!
Finally, this week, a third plant started bearing fruit. At last, it had the green on top and the purplish-red on the underside that we recognized from last year’s favorite tomato.
It didn’t quite taste as good as we remembered, but that’s a subjective judgment, and we will have to settle for what we have, in any case.
I am reminded that the Bible is compared to seeds. It reproduces precisely, unlike my poor tomatoes.
The fruit? Christians! Not different kinds, not the “wrong” kind, just Christians; the same as it produced in the first century (See Acts 2:22-42). If the seed is pure, the fruit will be true.
When we taint the pure words of God with those of so-called modern “prophets” or spiritual leaders or church councils, or a governing body of any kind, it will produce contaminated fruit. Preaching and teaching are necessary and useful, but the final authority is the Bible, and nothing else.
Just as 2000-year-old date palm pits found at Masada were successfully sprouted in 2005, spiritual seed produces after its kind.
One of the most amazing and wonderful things about the true church of Christ is that it can be reproduced anywhere and at any time, by reading and following the scriptures.
“The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11b, NASB). Use good seed, and get a good harvest.