Planting & Watering
The Lewis Clan will celebrate my father’s 88th birthday on the 11th of October. As my sister and I have been preparing for this over the last few days, my thoughts have taken me back to a variety of memories, lessons learned, and conversations and discussions with my Dad that have provided the immeasurable blessings of support, guidance, coaching and, yes at times, correction over the years. And, that is most certainly another story for another time.
However, one of the things my father instilled in his children from an early age was an appreciation for family history. And while the last name of my family has changed over the years from Jeffries, to Tillstone, to Rogers and then to Lewis – one thing that has not changed is our family motto. That’s right, as antiquated as that sounds, we have a family motto in the Lewis Clan: Dat Deus Incrementum. From the King James version, it means “God gave the increase”.
To put things in proper context, this comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. The full sentence reads: “I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 COR 3:6 – KJV). As an aside – I couldn’t resist the urge to go back and re-read chapter three in its entirety. I was overcome by its relevance to the struggles that we find ourselves wrapped up in this year. In the interest of keeping this blog brief, I’ll simply recommend that y’all take a minute to read it on your own. Now – on to other things.
There is a lot that can be done with this piece of scripture and yes, Paul was talking about a lot of other things in chapter three. But for today’s purposes I’ll ask that we look at it through the lens of our 2020 Stewardship Campaign. When I stop to ponder the increase that God has given through the “planting and watering” done at NorthPark – it’s not hard to become quite overwhelmed. Consider the Souldfood Greenhouse, Casa de Vida, the Reverse Food Truck, our efforts in the Vickery neighborhood, eye clinics in Africa – all from the simple acts of “planting and watering”.
But planting and watering means other things too. It means maintenance on the organ, keeping the grounds and structure of NorthPark healthy, keeping our education and music programing robust, and yes – providing for the staff that so selflessly serves in such an amazing way. Planting and watering requires a commitment of time. Planting and watering requires a commitment of talent. Planting and watering requires a commitment of cash.
So, not to belabor the obvious – as we ponder what stewardship means to each of us this year, I’ll simply ask that we look at our giving as the mission-critical planting and watering precursors to the increase. As we seek to live out our faith in this staggeringly fractured and frenetic world – may we all take moment to be still, be generous, and be at peace.