Sunday, December 20, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

Everyone wants Christmas to be meaningful…

So…what is Christmas really about?

Love. A love so great we cannot comprehend. About God, who sent His precious baby Son into a world of sin. About the Son who would become the ultimate sacrifice so that man could witness this kind of love. So that many could accept the free gift of forgiveness and live in complete relationship with God. It’s so different than the kind of love we are capable of. But it’s the selfless kind of love we look to follow and to model. We are to give of ourselves in love to others.

That beautiful message often gets overshadowed by the mounds of materialism and the clutter of commercialism. To counter that this Christmas, we join with our church and with many others in the “Advent Conspiracy.” (See the video on YouTube.) We want to “Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All” to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.

We just finished our study of Acts with our small group. After Jesus died, as we all know, that was just the beginning. The story continues with the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit in the formation of the Church. It’s the story of the Gospel Message being spread powerfully from Jerusalem to Rome and to the ends of the earth. In those early days of the Church, all the believers were one in heart and mind and they shared everything they had…the Bible says there were no needy persons among them. (Acts 4:32-35 NIV).

Contrast that behavior with the present day. The Advent Conspiracy video highlights the fact that the world spends $450 billion on Christmas, yet for only $10 billion we could solve the world’s water problem…

This Christmas, we are giving our loved ones simple gifts to show our love for them, because sharing our “presence” is more important than our “presents.” Instead of adding to the clutter of consumerism or the mounds of materialism, we were moved to help Samaritan’s Purse build wells so more people around the world can enjoy clean water.

We strive to share of ourselves and live the message that consumerism does not equal happiness, memories and meaning. We aim to worship fully by giving our “presence” and loving like Jesus.

We wish you all the true peace of Christ, even in the midst of whatever challenges and concerns you are facing. It is the true spirit and message of Christmas you can take with you all year long!

God, we worship you and thank you for the precious gift of your Son. We are humbled and amazed at your great love. May all come to know your peace. Let your Presence be in everything we share this Christmas…in Jesus’ name.

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