From The Pastor’s Desk: “Preach the Gospel!”
We witnessed a big part of our Church history come to pass last month as one of the greatest pastors of our time – the Rev. Billy Graham—passed away on February 21, 2018. He died on my birthday. His life inspires me to do more with mine. He lived to be 99 years old. Even though he enjoyed the last year or so of his life resting in his mountain home in Montreat, there seemed to be a sense of security for many just knowing Billy Graham was still living on earth. Now that he has gone on to heaven, I believe there are many people feeling lost like a “sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36).
Rev. Dr. Billy Graham who was labeled as “America’s pastor,” was really the “world’s pastor.” He was more than a pastor. He was a prophet that spoke the truth of God for our generation. Rev. Billy Graham was our modern day “John the Baptist.” Many of us are wondering how we are ever going to get along without having Billy Graham in the world. Some have wondered if this is a “sign of the times.” If Billy Graham has left the building, should we look for Jesus’ return?
Jesus short answer from the Bible is “no. No one knows the hour.” But Jesus does say “you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Matthew 24:44) Instead of “looking up” for His return, I think what Jesus calls us to do is to “look around.” Look around at the people suffering in the world. Look around to the lost sheep without a shepherd. Look around at the next generation who is growing up in the midst of violence and darkness. Look around at the absence of the authority of the Word of God informing our decisions and behaviors, and then DO something about it!
What made Billy Graham so great a prophet in our time? When Jesus passed by Billy Graham at age 16, he looked up to Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Then he looked around and responded to Jesus’ call to go make disciples. Graham devoted the rest of his life to fish for people.
I believe Billy Graham’s greatest sermon is the one now placed on his tombstone that simply reads, “Preacher.” This is what Billy Graham wanted to be caught doing when he met Jesus. You and I have the same call as the Rev. Billy Graham. We are called to be “preachers” or “light bearers” pointing the way to heaven. You don’t have to do that from the pulpit on Sundays. We do this simply by letting the resurrected Christ living in us. It is through your daily walk with Christ that you have the opportunity to bring as many people with you to heaven.
Romans 10:9 says, “But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher ?” This Easter season, we have the joy of proclaiming that “Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again! “ Go be the feet of the messenger who proclaims the Good News!
In Christ Alone, “Preacher” Mary