I’m on a mini-mission to redeem the word “good”. In a culture of superlatives, good has lost ground. Compared to awesome, sick and rad (I know that one is quite as much in use anymore) good is just barely above bad. Good just doesn’t have quite the same ring as off the hook or all that… Right? I mean, “good” is a standard response which means “uh okay.” When my kids come home from school, the standard question is How was school? The standard response is Good. When they say, “Good.” I’m rarely tempted to believe that what they mean is “Dad, school…oh…is there anywhere we could move where they have school –like– every day, because I love school. School is good. The teachers are good. I love homework. The food is so good.
No. See, “good” simply means I made it through, it didn’t totally stink.
You might be thinking, so what? What difference does it make? Maybe it doesn’t make a difference. Except when we are talking about God. When David writes in Psalm 34:8 “O Taste and See that God is good.” He’s not saying that God is just okay. He’s not saying that God doesn’t totally stink. He’s saying that amazing and awesome don’t come close. When — in Genesis — it says that everything God created was good. It doesn’t mean it was just okay, not bad, or so-so. For God “good” was breathtaking.
So use your imagination with me for a moment. Imagine what happens as we unleash God’s power of good. Imagine cities recruiting congregations to be a part of their community…because although it doesn’t raise the tax base, it reduces the needs that require taxes. Imagine every shut-in getting a visit and every prisoner getting prayer; every student getting a home-cooked meal and every family with a home; every marriage with mentors to walk them through rough times and every struggling student with a tutor.
Imagine atheists sending thank-you’s to the church. Even though they don’t believe in God, they are glad we are in the community, because people with AIDs are getting loved. Teens with out fathers are getting big brothers and big sisters. The food shelf is full.
It’s not just a dream. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16
You are the light of the world — like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket. Instead put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that evryone will praise your heavenly Father.
This is a picture of the church let loose, the church with out walls…providing living proof of a loving God… by doing good in the name of Jesus. This weekend about 800 people from Calvary, Assembly of God, Discovery Road, New Hope, and Stepping Stones, went out to serve the community — small acts of kindness, reflecting on a big God. All over the county people were out raking, baking, painting, and building. It was a “good” weekend. I love being a part of a church that loves to serve. I am celebrating do-gooders.
Thanks for the reminder. I especially like the connection with creation! Suddenly good seems quite stellar!!