Volume 33, Issue 3
Sharing Good Corn
There was once a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it always won first prize. One year, a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned the farmer’s strategy for growing winning corn. What was it? Simply this: the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.
“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why” said the farmer, “don’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors also grow good corn.1
As we continue to study the Gospel of Luke on Wednesdays and Sundays, it is clear that when we give back to our community we are in turn blessed. This corn story reminds us that we are connected to everything that happens with our neighbors. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Sharing our corn, ourselves, with the community is hard work. It takes measuring, pressing, shaking, and running. But when we do invest our money and resources as a church into our city that same investment will return back to us. We will be blessed with new gifts, new friends, new colleagues, new members, and new hope.
In the words of Peter Greer, President of Hope International and Christian advocate for those living in poverty, “Money is a vehicle, not the ultimate objective.” If money is the vehicle, where are we going as a church? Where does our money and investment take us? It takes us out into the community, into the streets of Dallas to count the homeless in order to provide them better services. It takes us into City Hall with those lifting their voices for the voiceless. It takes us into the public places of power to bring awareness to those who suffer in our community. It takes us into North Dallas Shared Ministry to sort food and clothes and give medical care to those need. It takes us into interfaith worship services and relationships to join with people of other religions in making Dallas better. It takes us into educational experiences that grow us into a loving, generous, and healthy community.
That’s where we are going. And that’s where we are growing as good, shared corn.