From a Tent in Charlotte… Celebrating Billy

by DanWolgemuth on March 2, 2018

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” (John 6:9, ESV)

A boy. With a meal.

It’s hard to imagine what thoughts raced through the head and heart of the boy who offered his barley bread and fish to Andrew. His meal, relinquished. His obedience, rewarded.

A meal for one…

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”

A vast audience. Sitting, in anticipation of being fed. Because a boy, as an act of faith, trusted Jesus with his resources, with his lunch.

A boy. A North Carolina farm boy.

With barley loaves, and a couple of fish.

With a passion to follow Jesus. With the courage to be faithful.

A meal for one, now blessed and broken… and a vast audience is fed. From Soldier Field in Chicago, to expansive tents in LA.

“Have the people sit down.”

And the meal continues… not because of the farm boy’s bread and fish, but because it is being served from the kitchen of God. Finite resources in the hands of an infinite Christ.

At 27 Billy Graham gave up his lunch to launch a movement. Youth For Christ.

73 years later Jesus is still “blessing and breaking”… In the 1940’s the message landed on the hearts of tie and dress-wearing teenagers. The issues of the day were radically different, but the meal on the menu was absolutely the same… Barley loaves and fish. Grace. Hope. Forgiveness. Redemption. Restoration.

…as much as they wanted. (John 6:11b, ESV)

From a mountain beside the Sea of Galilee, to a high school hallway in Sacramento. From a grass covered field, to Yankee Stadium. From a maternity ward with a 14-year-old mother, to the drug infested neighborhoods in our urban core. … all they needed and as much as they wanted.

A boy. Equipped, prepared, and faithful.

A North Carolina farm boy. Equipped, prepared, and faithful.

A mission. Equipped, prepared, and faithful.

Today, from a tent outside of the Billy Graham Library, Mary and I will hear stories about the thousands who were fed. From global leaders, to unemployed factory workers. From returning soldiers, to convicted felons. From yesterday, to today. From today, to tomorrow.

We honor the life of Billy Graham, but we do not steward his legacy. No, like Mr. Graham, we simply and obediently lay the lunch we brought in the hands of the God we follow… and we trust Him to do what only He can do. Our austere lunch in His nail-pierced hands.

A boy.

A message.

A courageous faith.

A contagious love.

Thank you, Billy.

Celebrating from Charlotte.

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