Monday, November 3, 2008
The Conspiracy Begins
The following letter was posted in this week's bulletin at New Hope:
I want to take a minute and share some thoughts about where we’re headed this winter. We’ve been talking about the fact that God resides with the hurting & hears the cries of the oppressed. When we listen and act on the cries we hear, we are also with God. We become his hands and feet to a hurting world.
This weekend begins November. Before we know it, Christmas will be here. Some of us around here have been asking some new questions this year. Rather than becoming over-tired and over-extended by over-indulging and over-spending, what would it look like to turn the ‘Consumer Approach to Christmas’ on its end? What would it look like to focus more on spending TIME with one another rather than spending money on one another? How could we strategically shift our spending to allow us to GIVE more?
Over the next few weeks, you’ll hear us talk about the Advent Conspiracy. It’s a way we can celebrate Christmas the way it was intended:
With Jesus for Jesus.
We want to put an end to feeling like Christmas won’t work if we don’t buy everything on the list. We are actively resisting a culture that guilts us into overspending. We want to recklessly and fully love Jesus and the hurting people around us.
This week we introduce our Christmas Catalog. It is one of the tools to let you know some of the many needs that exist locally and globally.
Join us as we walk away from Stress-mas, Impersonal-mas, Checklist-mas and begin to worship Jesus fully this holiday season.
Now, if you're anything like me, you may read that letter and think several different thoughts.
1. Yes, it would be nice to do things differently, but is it even possible?
2. I feel guilty because I SHOULD want to do things differently, but actually I want to keep them the same.
3. Will my small contribution really make a difference?
4. I don't even know where to begin.
5. My family is DEFINITELY not going to go for this.
But, here's what I wonder...what if we just took whatever step of obedience that God is asking us to take? For some that may mean purchasing a cow for a family in a third world country. For others it may mean planning intentional meals with people in need. For others it may mean taking a trip with your family instead of buying gifts. For others it may mean seeking out gifts that encourage time spent together, like restaurant gift cards with a date to go TOGETHER.
I don't know how God will lead you and that is the beauty of the Advent Conspiracy. As we all strive together to: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love Fully, God steps in and changes us each individually AND as a church.
Check out more on the Advent Conspiracy at adventconspiracy.org or on the conspiracy's pages on facebook or myspace.