Dr. Billy Graham has now entered the Church Triumphant. While at times guilty of human frailty, he was a true spiritual giant who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more people than any other human in history, gained ‘celebrity’ status around the world, was deeply committed to fighting for the end of segregation and served as a spiritual advisor to United States presidents. Indeed, he is one of the seminal figures of human history in the 20th century.
Dr. Graham’s relationship with Jesus Christ was the central touchstone of his life, defining who he was and what he did. His preaching put Christ first. His invitation to people to enter into a life-changing relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior was the heart of his ministry. Indeed, he was willing to go anywhere and do almost anything in order that people might know Christ.
We live in the throes of post-modernity that urges us to abandon any search for truth. Dr. Graham’s message reminds us of the ultimate truth of Whose we are, who we are and what matters most in our lives. It is a powerful reminder of the central reality of life that God loves humanity so much God sent Jesus Christ to give himself fully and completely so we can receive what we absolutely need, but can never get on our own – forgiveness, salvation, healing, new life, transformation, joy, hope, a spirit of compassion, zeal to seek justice for all of God’s children and the gift of eternal life.
Today is a day to grieve. Today is a day to give thanks to God for the life of Dr. Billy Graham. And, perhaps most importantly, today is a day to refocus on the ultimate simplicity of the Good News of the Gospel.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!