Give me that old time religion
John 21:17 The third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, Do you love me? He said, Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, Feed my sheep.
When I use the term “old time religion” what does that mean to you? Do you think of preachers spewing fire and brimstone sermons to scare you into salvation? Do you think of hymns such as “Amazing Grace,” or “Love Lifted Me”? Or do you recall a time when your heart was so on fire for God that you could not contain the joy within, or the desire to share that joy with others?
I guess for me it is a little of all three. But the old time religion to which I would really like to return is the religion where we all looked out for one another. It was a religion where we didn’t just serve at a soup kitchen once a quarter, or donate clothes to the Salvation Army twice a year. No, it was a religion where we looked for opportunities to help our neighbors.
I have been concerned by the church’s inability to bring new people in–seeing lives changed because of Christ. But before we can change lives through Christ, sometimes we have to meet people’s needs. It is difficult for folks to receive the bread of life, if they are physically hungry. It is hard for people to grasp the concept of God’s unconditional love if they have no home.
What I would like to see is a return to the values of our forefathers, when neighbors joined together to raise a barn, or help put out a fire, or shoveled snow from their neighbor’s sidewalk. What I am proposing is leaving the safety of the church walls, going out into the neighborhoods and finding and meeting peoples’ needs. Then, we will begin to see an explosion in the church not witnessed since the first century Christians.
Won’t you join me? The harvest is white but the workers are few.