Here we are, the week before Thanksgiving. I am certain that many of you are making last minutes plans with family or friends; ironing out the details of who is bringing what for the big meal. As we enter this wonderfully busy season we remember the countless number of things that we have to be thankful for.
While I LOVE a good deal, I have no interest becoming a part of the Black Friday madness that we will likely hear about in the media. I find more excitement in the season looming just around the corner… Advent. It is a time of waiting, a season that encourages us to slow down and experience the real meaning of Christmas. If you were in Church this past Sunday, you heard me mention an organization called “Advent Conspiracy” that is trying to get people to be creative and think differently knowing that upwards of 450 BILLION DOLLARS will be spent on Christmas this year alone. Below are four helpful reminders of how we can do that this season.
*Taken from www.adventconspiracy.org
Christmas marks the moment where God's promise was fulfilled and love took form, tiny fingers and all. It is a moment that deserves our full attention and praise. We put Worship Fully as AC's first tenet because we believe the level of our involvement at Christmas is based entirely on how much we are celebrating Christ's birth. He deserves celebration; one that is creative, loud and directs every heart His way.
Quick question for you: What was the one gift you remember getting for Christmas last year? Next question: What about the fourth gift? Do you remember that one? Truth is many of us don't because it wasn't something we necessarily wanted or needed. Spending Less isn't a call to stop giving gifts; it's a call to stop spending money on gifts we won't remember in less than a year. America spends around $450 billion dollars during the Christmas season, and much of that goes right onto a credit card. By spending wisely on gifts we free ourselves from the anxiety associated with debt so we can take in the season with a full heart.
We know what you're thinking. "Wait, didn't they just say I should spend less, and yet here they are telling me to give more? What gives?" The most powerful, memorable gift you can give to someone else is yourself. And nobody modeled this more than Jesus. So what does this look like for you? Tickets to a ball game or the theater? A movie night? The main point is simple: When it comes to spending time with those you love, it's all about quality, not quantity.
It all boils down to love. Love from a savior. Love to a neighbor in need. By spending just a little less on gifts we free up our resources to love as Jesus loves by giving to those who really need help. This is the conspiracy three churches began a few years ago, and has since grown to an international movement where thousands of churches have raised millions of dollars to love others in life-changing ways.
Find out more about “Advent Conspiracy” at www.adventconspiracy.org.
As followers of Jesus, let us think about God incarnate and remember our opportunity to reflect this Love that knows no season.