In our efforts to see a savior beyond the gentle, meek and mild variety, I fear we've constructed a golden calf of the word great. But riddle me this, batman, when God created the world, you know, back there in Genesis, when all was said and done each day, what was his refrain? and it was great? No, I'm pretty sure it was and it was good. Not a page later and God said it wasn't good that man be alone, so along came the lady, yeehaw! The psalmist wrote it is good and pleasing when folks dwell together in unity. It'd be pretty cool if we could read Acts 10.38 in a Tony the Tiger voice:
Jesus went about doing gr-r-r-r-r-eat!...
but we can't. Jesus went about doing good. Even the word 'gospel' describes a news clarified not great, but good. Don't forget the Bible itself used to be known as the good book. And one of these days, I hope to hear the words well done, good and faithful servant.
Why has this word, that seems to mean such a great deal to God, fallen on hard times? What if God doesn't really want us, or our churches, or our organizations to move from good to great? What if he's quite delighted if we live good in this world gone bad? Remember that childhood lunchtime prayer - God is great, God is good? What if God's the only one who can be both, both great and good, and we, his children, are to be good? We can't be both because we're not God. Maybe that was the banana peel Lucifer stepped on, he tried to be both great and good, like God, but he slipped...and fell. Maybe the road to great is broad and wide, but the road to good is a knife-edge you must be faithful to each mundane day, and it'll take the great God's help if you ever hope to be a good man, or a good woman, or a good kid, or a good neighbor, or a good pastor, or a good friend.
I hope one of these days, when my wife and children and friends and acquaintances and creditors are gathered around the funeral canoe, getting ready to set my body ablaze and send it out upon the waters to Avalon, that somebody, maybe a little kid just happening to walk by will ask was he someone great? and one of you will chuckle, reverently of course, and say nope, not a chance, kid...but he was a good man.