After Hours at the National History Museum and Heirloom Tomato Tasting
Sabbath Saturday or a day in the week to rest from work, not just because this is biologically necessary for health, but also to demonstrate the understanding that we are not ultimately sustained by the work of our hands (although we are to work to eat), but by God who sustains all things: who keeps the sun rising every day, who ensures plants produce food, who maintains every breath we continue to take. And not only to demonstrate our understanding of this but to enjoy this.
Last evening, at After Hours: Science Uncovered at the National History Museum, we gawked in amazement and wonder* at just a small fraction of the things that have been made by God. Space, Antarctica, crazily designed beetles in Tanzania, red light-emitting chlorophyll, the opportunity to indulge in forensic entomology etc.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. (Romans 1:19-20)
Paul said this to the Romans to explain why he was not ashamed of the gospel:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practise such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practise them. (Romans 1:19-32)
And so, being gospel-believers, we could spend late Saturday morning enjoying different varieties of so-called heirloom tomatoes:
Possibly (and possibly completely erroneous): some sort of ox-heart (or beefsteak) tomato, brandywine, San Marzano, pineapple, Cherokee Purple. In what might be a reflection of the season, most of the fruits (vegetables?!) had a mealy texture and watery flavour. All but the ox-heart could be helped along by a pinch of Cornish sea salt. The San Marzano plum had a slight peppery taste, pineapple – a delicate citrus tinge, the brandywine? – a sweet nuttiness, and the Cherokee Purple? – as if it had been lightly marinated in aged balsamic vinegar. Only the last two were improved by the addition of fresh basil leaves and balsamic vinegar reduction. But still, what an umami kick!
* where i also managed to alarm two scientists by getting a very rare beetle specimen stuck in my woolly jumper, and, separately, resting my raspberry lollipop on a fossil of some sort.