Today is Billy Graham's 92nd birthday.
I have to confess, it took me years to appreciate his work.
As a young pastor, I considered the work that I had to do in a low income community in South Dallas, called definitely called for evangelism. But it also called to meet needs within the congregation and community that went far beyond such a simple presentation of God's Love.
Time and experience showed me that I was right and wrong.
While my work in the community led me to address complex social needs of both the people in my church and the surrounding neighborhood, I also knew that the faith out of which I worked and that which sustained so many of the people with whom I worked was profound in its simplicity. Simply stated, it was this...
God loves us too much for us to suffer as we do, from our own sinfulness or from the suffering inflicted on us by the sinfulness of others. There is redemption for all of us from the mess we make of the life God has given us and that redemption is found in the love God expressed through Jesus Christ.
Billy Graham has dedicated his life to preaching that message. And the nation is really better for it.