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Gordon Meets Billy

Notes & Transcripts

Yet, even in the church, it is often rare, especially among our “celebrities.” I’ve heard the horror story of prima-donna pastors and persnickety Christian music stars. In fact, humility is so rare, we’re surprised when we find it.

Gordon MacDonald tells of one such moment:

It was in his earlier years when Billy Graham was in the prime of his fame and influence. At the time, MacDonald wan nothing more than an unknown seminary student. But one day, MacDonald was standing close when Billy Graham was talking. When it was over, he got his chance to meet Billy.

“Billy, I'd like you to meet Gordon MacDonald," my introducer said. MacDonald says:

I was a 24-year-old, scrawny, somewhat unpromising kid, struggling to pass basic seminary courses, and I was one of many being introduced to Billy Graham. What do I remember about that moment? That he fixed his piercing eyes upon me, extended his hand and said, "Mr. MacDonald, it's an honor to meet you." Mr. MacDonald! He addressed me as if I were a peer or someone "superior" to him. Oh, the dignity of the moment for me. For the space of about—I'm guessing—ten seconds, he connected with me and it seemed as if the two of us were the only people in the room. For weeks I bathed in that awesome moment in which this extraordinary man poured value into me.

Now, I’m sure that was quite a moment for MacDonald as it would be for any of us. But, it really speaks to the fact that we have missed the point of Peter’s writing. What was surprising in the behavior of Billy Graham was really nothing more than an obedience to scripture. You see, he was clothed with humility. And, humility is everybody’s business.

If you and I are really to submit, we must understand some truths about submission. First, God has established order and second, humility is everyone’s business. Then we must understand and fully believe . . .

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