The Commemorative Issue

by DanWolgemuth on March 9, 2018

America’s Preacher (Time Magazine – Billy Graham Commemorative Issue)

Remembering America’s Man of God (Newsweek – Billy Graham Commemorative Issue)

The accolades flowed like Colorado streams after a spring thaw. From print to video. From spoken word to lyrics sung.

Pastor to the Presidents.

Evangelist to the world.

But the word that surfaced over and over again is in fact that magnet that drew generations to the messages proclaimed from the lips of Billy Graham… that word, humility.

Not simply humble, for often “humble” is simply an entrance ramp to fame and arrogance.

In fact, Billy Graham didn’t simply come from humble beginnings, he made sure we all knew that he ended in humble dependence. This was God’s work, not his.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30, ESV)

Humility is what kept Billy Graham on his knees, and his knees are what kept Billy Graham humble.

Under one more canvas covering, this unprecedented funeral commenced. A plywood casket provided a fitting metaphor for a man who wanted nothing more than to deflect praise to His King. A man who wanted his singular boast to be about a rugged wooden cross. In fact, “the cross” was the only entry on his storied resume.

The Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina was an intersection… not for dignitaries and celebrities, but for one more transcendent crusade for Christ. Hundreds of cameras clicked and rolled… while the eternal words of grace and hope and redemption filled the chilly March air.

Millions watched. Millions heard.

Billy Graham stories flowed… but, like Teflon, they didn’t stick to the North Carolina farm boy. They landed squarely and undeniably on the Savior that Billy worshiped and adored. Humility does that.

Humility submits the unprecedented successes of life to the reputation of a Jewish carpenter. Humility shifts the spotlight from unmatched global crowds to an unmarked empty tomb.

Humility squeezes the most out of every opportunity to make much of Jesus the Christ, even though the bold print says Billy Graham.

Inside a large tent in Charlotte, the wind howled. And as it did, it provided a fitting commissioning to all who attended, both in person and those who participated remotely. The Spirit of God is moving. The message of Christ is active. The Word of God is powerful. In fact… uncontainable.

Increase. Decrease.

A front row seat to the work of God does that.

A spotlight where it rightly belongs. On Jesus. The Christ.

Thank you, Billy.

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