Leaving my childhood town earlier this week, I was in a melancholy mood for several reasons. So, I turned on the radio to KLOVE hoping to find music that would sooth my hurting heart. Lincoln Brewster's The Power of Your Name started the tears. My heart was full of things I had become aware of in those past few days and Brewster's candid, powerful words fell on my aching, exposed soul. But one phrase resounded above all: GO BEYOND RELIGION. As images of certain people came into my mind and possible solutions swirled around my head, I realized that I was willing to do just that. GO BEYOND RELIGION to see the world changed....but only BY THE POWER OF GOD'S NAME.
I am still pondering and praying about some of the things I felt God was telling me that day. How I can possibly be more involved in some situations that look hopeless (from a human perspective).
But one story that I heard this past weekend stuck out in my mind as the perfect image of that phrase GOING BEYOND RELIGION: In a local church in Southeastern North Carolina, there is a man who was always active in his church. He had given many years when he was healthy and strong to serving his church and the members there. Now, he is old and cannot get out very often. He lamented to a friend who visited him one day that more than anything, he missed the companionship of his Sunday School class.
This friend, instead of just patting his friend on the hand and saying a prayer (which, by the way, is NOT a bad thing), decided to do more. Without maybe even realizing it, he WENT BEYOND RELIGION. He talked to the men in his Sunday School class and they all decided that they would take the Sunday School class to their house bound church member.
So, every Sunday morning around 9 a.m., the old faithful servant is invaded by eight to ten other men who bring Sunday School to him! I LOVE IT!!
Does it take it a little maneuvering and effort to make this Sunday School on wheels happen? Sure, it does! But, oh the blessings and hope it brings to this old man's heart.
GOING BEYOND RELIGION will take some effort, imagination, and true willingness on our part. But, it most cases, it will speak louder than words ever could.