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REV. ANDREW DEMOTSES

I have often thought that my love of gardening has always helped me to sustain my sense of wonder and appreciation for God's constant process of creation. Each spring I marvel anew when I take a tiny tomato seed, seemingly dry and lifeless, and plant it in a small pot. It soon bursts forth from the soil, a small, fragile, green sprout, and begins its task. It grows quickly and vigorously, and after the sun has warmed the soil, it is transplanted into the garden. Once there, it gathers from somewhere more than two hundred thousand times its weight, and forcing all of this raw material through a single stem, it constructs a large plant, fills it with blossoms and begins to make tomatoes. It ornaments its tomatoes with a smooth shiney skin, fills them with flavorful juice and warm meaty pulp, and makes scores of new seeds like itself, each one capable of repeating this miraculous process of reproduction. It does this so many times that the tomatoes produced on a single plant in one season will weigh more than 100 pounds! All this from a single seed.

Who conceived the marvelous plan by which that little seed does its work? Where does it get its tremendous strength? Where does it find the lovely red color that it needs? Where in the soil does it collect the flavors it uses in making its tomatoes? How does it may so many tomatoes?

Now that we have been to the moon and back, we have become arrogant and complacent. We think that we can answer every question, solve every problem, and understand all the mysteries of creation. We have come to believe that we are the measure of all things.

And yet, how does one explain the simple tomato? How can the wisest scientist, with the greatest laboratory, duplicate what a tiny dry seed can do with only a spadeful of soil? God remains the undisputed sovereign of His creation, in spite of our human pretensions. And He demonstrates for us the majesty of His power and the depth of His wisdom in the simplest ways lest we forget our appointed place in the created order. A tomato seed not only makes tomatoes, therefore, it also teaches valuable lessons.

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