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Larry Lilly's Letter Thursday December 15, 2005
I have admitted in the past to the fact that I have a tough time during the month of December. I do not remember when this battle with a sense of depression began nor why. It is a part of my life and I attempt all sorts of cures, none of which make any difference at all.
A nut case (Psychologist) once told me that I have a strong messianic complex which at that time I took to mean that he said I thought I was god! That is not the meaning in most cases, but rather people with messianic desire tend to take the pain of others into their (our) own heart and it soon becomes more than you (we) are able to bear.
I now live a rather simple life, joining most American Christians in praying in the needed funds to life a decent life, not as a monk, but close. During this season I never feel as though I have done or given enough. As a pastor of a small church in which I answer the phone 97% of the time, I have to talk with the mothers, even little children who go down the list in the phone book and call to see if we help with toys at Christmas. One four day period a few years ago revealed that in order to meet the listed needs conveyed to me I would have needed to find over $10,000.00 to fund this rescue. In order to protect my sanity I now do not answer the phone because I simply can't handle the "I'm sorry, but I cannot help you." Hey, it beats going to the funny farm. If you find my scheme to protect my sanity to be unsaintly, you may come to answer the phone next year.
As I ruminated on the truth that I relearn every Christmas, I was able to frame my inner need in words. This therapy is helpful in that it works for me!
Some years ago I heard the president of Boston College give a series of speeches and in the speeches he reiterated, "I am not God. And that's a good thing."
In my humble opinion the teaching of scripture on the meaning of Christmas is simply that God does care about our condition, that He planned to do something about it, something that only He could do, and in that plan sent His only begotten Son to die in our place, thus satisfying His righteous and holy demands concerning justice and that we unworthy though we be benefit from this unsolicited gift by receiving Gods gift. The gift was sent not to those who deeply loved Him, but to a world of people who according to scripture were/are enemies by wicked works. It is passing strange that when an enemy accepts the gift of Christ, he becomes a lover of God. Perhaps we give gifts in the hope that people will love us, or love us even more. Only God can handle the emotional factors involved in this risky business. I know I can't. Therefore I pray for strength to face my limitations, not only the financial ones, but the far more important ones, my limited ability to grasp the truth that even God gave Himself. That is enough!
Larry Lilly Copyright 2005 Use with credit
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