Billy Graham has been on my mind lately. The world-famous evangelist has been a beacon of faithfulness for Christians for more than 50 years because his message of redemption is timeless.
He is getting on up in years and a recent hospitalization put him back in the news. Reading about him, I meandered through various quotes and stories from his life, and came across a story that I’d never heard before.
Graham meant to set the church back?
In the 1960’s he held a crusade in Montgomery, Alabama. He insisted that the choir be racially integrated, and a local newspaper editorial charged that his demand had “set the church back a hundred years.”
Graham responded out his compelling vision for the church, “If that’s the case, I failed in my mission. I intended to set it back 2,000 years.”
This Sunday I’ll bring a message about Stephen, the apostle who was stoned to death for preaching the heresy that Jesus was the Son of God. What inconceivable truth had Stephen encountered that made him willing to die for simply speaking it? And the question for us: do we have that kind of zeal and loyalty to Jesus? Do we need that kind of passion?
Billy, Stephen, Jesus, and you.
Like Stephen, Billy, and Jesus, I submit that we need a clear vision of the Kingdom of God, and of the church, that compels us to deeper faithfulness. Not just faithfulness in our hearts or words, but a faithfulness that causes us to live differently. I hope you’ll join us for worship this week as we celebrate our annual Multi-cultural Sunday.
See you Sunday,