Yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=648648 carried an article by Jim Price about watermelons and choices. In an age when nearly every produce department carries an unbelievable range of exotic fruit and vegetables, it seems as though one old standard is no longer to be found. The seeded watermelon has gone the way of the dinosaur and has been “superseded” by the seedless variety.
That got me thinking. Where have they all gone? And why? When one questions, one Googles. I learned that:
True seedless watermelons can produce no fruit…they produce no seeds.
Mostly seedless melons can produce fruit only with extreme care…their seeds are indifferent germinators and may not grow under adverse conditions.
Seeded watermelons can produce abundant fruit. They produce multitudes of seeds which will often grow anywhere—in sidewalk cracks, on the compost bin, wherever they happen to fall.
That being the case, watermelon should be proliferating like kudzu, not becoming an endangered species. What has happened?
About 50 years ago, scientists developed a mostly seedless melon that required a seeded variety to pollinate it. Due to the magic of genetics, the resulting melons would be either seedless, seeded, or mostly seedless. The few seeds produced by the last group would be the ones used for the next planting. In spite of the difficulty and cost in producing seedless melons, they became the most desirable. Today, it is hard to find a standard seeded melon for sale anywhere.
So…what does all this have to do with Christians?
Seed is God’s plan for life to continue; as the seed dies, it introduces a new generation. Without seed, life becomes extinct, like the dinosaur.
Jesus told His followers, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:24-26
Too often, Christians today seem to be more concerned with the comfort of the plant than with the propagation of Jesus’ Gospel. We make sure to feed and water and care for ourselves. We desire fruit that will enhance the plant (us), but we are too often sterile like the seedless watermelon. Instead of seeing churches full of believers sprouting up on the compost heaps and in the sidewalk cracks like standard melons, we are happy to live in hothouses, unaffected by the world around us.
What do you think it will take to keep the church from going the way of the dinosaur or the dodo bird…or the watermelon?
What can you and I do to produce fruit that will reproduce?