Our church is participating in Advent Conspiracy this year. Contrary to popular belief, this is not something our church came up with. It is a movement that is asking people to believe that Christmas can [still] change the world. We want to get involved with winning back Christmas as a time that celebrates the “story of promise, hope and revolutionary love.” Will you join us? Here is the heart behind the mission -
It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love rules, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.
Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking you to consider cutting back Christmas spending by just 10% (or 25%, or 50% if you want!). Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season. For some good ideas on how to cut spending, follow this link: www.rethinkingchristmas.com
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?
When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. Less presents, more presence.
Lead Pastor Matt Adair will be making announcements at each Sunday gathering on how our church is participating in Advent Conspiracy this Christmas. Also, check the blog once a week to know more about the movement. If you want to read more about it from their site, click here: www.adventconspiracy.org