17 December 2010

the article

Ladies and gentlemen. I have a guest post today by the one and only, John Dickerson. (aka, my man.) His article was recently printed in The Greenville News(SC) and is scheduled to print in The Midland Daily News (MI) and the Prescott Daily Courier (AZ) within the next week. This man is my best friend, lover, father of our son and one seriously talented writer. This article was just what I needed to hear/read today.

Don’t Just Give this Christmas. Receive.
This holiday season we may all be able to agree on a few things:

-The economy is in great need of rescue.              
-Peace on earth would be fantastic, particularly in the Koreas and the Middle East.
-David Hasselhoff’s reality TV show is not the highlight of the holidays.

In truth, 2010 has not been an easy year for the world -- and not just because of David Hasselhoff.
We watched an earthquake destroy Haiti’s capital and kill thousands. Then we joined together to donate money, time and energy and begin picking up the pieces.
We worried for 87 days as the federal government and BP failed to plug an oil well that tarred the Gulf regions barely recovering from Katrina. Finally, we saw the geyser capped.
We watched for 68 days as 33 miners waited, trapped 2,300 feet underground in Chile. And we celebrated together when they emerged alive.
In each of these tragedies we saw heroic rescues. Rescues that had to be given. And rescues that also had to be received. I wonder this holiday season if we are ready to give -- and ready also to receive.
It’s been said that “A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things, but cannot receive great ones.” The same is true of our lives. When we are at our weakest, we magnify the trifling things. Caught in the stranglehold of busyness, we are too mesmerized by minutia to receive the profound joys that the holidays can quietly give.
The historic Christ, from whom Christ-mas gets its name, lived so that we could receive. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Can a man who taught 2,000 years ago deliver on such a promise? After all, December 26th will be here in a blink. Then comes another year of disasters, foreclosures, divorces and reality TV shows.
I believe that in all these crises, we the people still need rescue. Can we look at the brokenness around us, and say we don’t need help? Can we look into our own workplaces and families, into our very selves, and say we don’t need someone to repair our defining mistakes?
The ancient scriptures say this about the Christ of Christ-mas: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Is this the Christmas when we call out for help? Abraham Lincoln put it well when he said “Without the assistance of the Divine Being ... I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail.”
Christmas is indeed about giving. In Christ’s name, about $93 billion will be given to help others this holiday season. But what if we are the ones who need help? What if this is a holiday of giving help – and receiving it, too?


John S. Dickerson, a pastor and writer, teaches at Cornerstone Church in Prescott, AZ. He is an Arizona Newspaper Association "Journalist of the Year" and recipient of the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

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