William Penn said that we “have a call to do good, as often as we have the power and the occasion.” Doing good deeds is a natural response for people with love and charity in their hearts. It comes together in the simple kindness, the unexpected gift, the gentleness of a smile when you need it the most. It’s about being the recipient of prayer, the author of hope, the friend in need. Yes, we’re good deed bearers and those actions are part of the good works the ancient biblical scholars often remind us about.
Today though, I’m musing about getting past the good deeds and looking at the great ones. Jesus told his followers that they could do any of the works He had done, and in fact, they could do greater works, because He was going to the Father. Wow, greater works than He had done! Healing the blind, capturing the lost, raising the dead…those are powerful works! What does it mean then to go from being a good deed doer to becoming a person that actually strives for greater works?
Okay theologians, that’s a question for you, but in my own simple way, I like to imagine that this is a great big open door policy. This is the King of the universe telling His own subjects that there is no end to the good they can do, nothing stops the possibility of what can happen when they believe. The good Spirit of love and joy and peace and patience and understanding freely gives the gift of His power. He even invites us to use it and the only hitch is that it must be for the greater good of others. We have unlimited power because He is dispensing it to us every time we take another step in faith, every time we walk into His light and are willing to bask in His goodness. We change from the possibility of all things being good, to all things being great! In business terms, we are not only on the right bus, but we’re definitely in the right seat! We can get the job done!
Nothing takes a back seat to that kind of unlimited, all-powerful opportunity to serve others. If doing good makes you happy, then doing great things is the ride of a lifetime. What does it take then? Only you know the answer, but I suspect it takes that great leap of faith that you hear about all the time, the one you applaud in super heroes and leaders, the one that sits inside of your heart as well, ready at any moment to be activated. You’re a powerhouse! You’re a strong, loving, good person and if you can even for a moment imagine what it might be like to heal someone, perhaps of heartache or illness, or to raise someone’s spirits so that they are alive again in faith and trust and love, then you know what it is to be a bit like Jesus. You know what it means to do even more.
It’s another day…a good day…and for you and for me, it’s even a great day! We have it on very good authority that our work is not done. Look out, World! We’re turning up the light today!