I should have completed writing this Back Page a couple of hours ago. I’m rapidly concluding that it’s not a great “Back Page” week. Let me tell you where I am at. I find myself in the middle of Space Mountain I think. Up and down and all around. Hear me out.
This week I’ve been digging deep into one of the more famous Christmas texts around — Matthew 1. So, I’m wanting to hum some carols (and in fact have caught myself doing just that this morning). And yet, Passion Week is on the horizon and those amazing hymns are battling for attention. That’s not exactly an uncomfortable or unusual juxtaposition of events, but the melodies side by side are a bit odd. And then we are approaching this crazy time change. My 6 am dog walk is going to be in total darkness (not thrilled about that) this week, and that’s depressing. And winter has finally come to SoCal, just as spring should be springing, right? We are having more winter weather now that we did at Christmas. I’m hoping for lots of showers over the weekend, we need it.
So, with all this swirling around in my head, words flow not.
But this I know. Without a doubt, no matter what time it is or no matter what the weather brings, God loves us and can make a difference in our lives. That message must dominate my heart and passion each day. Billy Graham made an impact on our world precisely because he maintained the Gospel as his personal focus.
Billy Graham’s final message to the world was rather simple:
No matter what your problem is, if you and I could sit down and talk, I would want to tell you one great truth — God loves you, and He can make a difference in your life if you will let Him. God loves you so much that He sent His Son into the world to die for your sins. When we open our hearts to Christ, He forgives our sins and comes to live within us by His Holy Spirit. He also gives us strength for the present and hope for the future.
This is the message of the Gospel. And that message has never changed. Franklin Graham said that, without a doubt, his father would share that same message again were he still able to speak. It was, after all, “what he lived and breathed — until his very last breath.”
As life distracts us and deadlines approach, do not forget what we are all about. Living the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel. Falling more in love with Jesus every day. That may mean singing a Christmas carol in March. Or getting to church a bit sleepy because of the time change. But we still show up. And He’s still faithful. We are here as a church family to grow people to impact their world and beyond. Even in the rain. Even in March. Even without a full night’s sleep. Let’s keep at the task.