I am a Planter – Part 3 Planing Seeds

I am a planter. This means that I not only extract and re-arrange, but I deposit. We do not leave the soil empty, disturbed, and void. Far from it, we leave the ground altered by adding to it. We plant seeds! We plant seeds of hope, that hope that is in Christ and His gospel. That hope that shows the more excellent way of being and doing. We plant seeds! The seeds of self reliance and mutuality. We plant seeds! The seeds of community, and communal interdependence. We plant seeds! The seeds of hope that result in outgrowths of power, the ability to bring about necessary change and action. We plant seeds that result in the flourishing of new theological underpinning, new self understandings, “new narratives for life’s broken stories,” and “new framing stories from which to hold life together.” We plant seeds which are kernels of hope, new beginnings, and life. Every sermon, every Bible study, every interaction, hug, kind look, and kind word has been the well intentioned attempt of a planter to sow seeds.

Planting is Not Easy

My planting task is not an easy job. It involves getting one’s hands dirty, and it alters one’s posture. It is not a work to be done standing erect; no, it requires one to bow at times, to bow in perfect submission and as an act of contrition. This work requires that one touches and manipulates less than desirable objects. A planter has to touch dung. Bad attitudes, mean heartedness, and dissenting, deviant, pessimistic outlooks on life, opposition from all angles, are the dung that we have to handle. We do this all not because we want to, but because we have to, it is part of our job for we are planters.

Planting is My Wonderful Job

There are problematic parts of planting, but all in all this is a wonderful job. It is a way of providing the future sustenance and nourishment of humanity. It is a way of leaving a memorable, yet immeasurable, lingering mark on the world. It is the best way imaginable to pay back the “debt of love I owe” to my mentors, and the professors who labored tirelessly tilling the soil of my incredibly hard head. It is the best way imaginable to show forth my love for Christ, who gave up His life for my flourishing. This job of planting is one of monkey see and monkey do, we planters do as Christ did for us, we lay down our privilege and agendas for the sake of another just as Christ did according to Philippians 2:5-7. Lastly, this job is a wonderful job, one in which we are rewarded heavily for, both on the job and in retirement. On the job we watch the things we have given life to grow and give life to others, and in retirement we receive the best retirement benefits package of all time, we receive the uncanny privilege of being with God for all eternity. Yes I am a planter…And I would not have it any other way.

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Pastor Napoleon J. Harris, M. Div, M. Ed. is the senior pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and a Web Minister at SoulPreaching.Com. He has studied African American Preaching and completed his senior thesis on evaluating the celebration component of the Black sermon.

Posted in blog, General, Planning

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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