Preachers don’t always need to stand behind a pulpit to preach. And they don’t even have to be people. Leonard Hastings got his potatoes to preach.
You read that right.
Mr. Hastings was not a preacher, he was a farmer. In the spring of 1844 he planted a field of potatoes. But something happened that summer that completely changed him. Mr. Hastings learned about Jesus’ soon coming and became a Millerite. Millerites believed that the prophecy in Daniel 8 was telling them that Jesus was coming back to earth on October 22, 1844.
Meanwhile, the potatoes were growing well and were soon ready for harvest. But Mr. Hastings felt that with Jesus coming in a few more weeks, he wouldn’t need the potatoes. So he didn’t harvest them. Word got around that he wasn’t digging up his potatoes because he believed Jesus was coming. Everyone knew if the potatoes were not harvested they would rot in the ground.
When Jesus didn’t come back on October 22, the neighbors had a good laugh at Mr. Hasting’s expense. His potatoes were left in the ground until November. When he finally did dig them out, he discovered they were some of the best he had ever grown!
Things didn’t go as well for his neighbors, however. A potato disease came to the area that year and rotted nearly all the potatoes that had been dug at the proper time. But Mr. Hastings had a big supply of potatoes for his family and was able to share with those neighbors who had been laughing at his strange beliefs.
The next spring, when it was time to plant potatoes again, people from near and far came to buy seed potatoes from Mr. Hastings. By this time, he was able to share with others why Jesus hadn’t come back on October 22, 1844. He now knew that the Millerites had been right about the time but not the event. As Mr. Hastings sold his potatoes he could explain that Jesus, our High Priest, had entered into the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven that day, and there He would complete the final work of salvation.
Sometimes what we do or don’t do preaches a silent sermon to everyone around us, telling more to others about we believe than if we had actually spoken out loud. The next time you eat a potato, take a moment to think about the silent sermons your life may be preaching.
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