Peeling the Onion on Advent Conspiracy

Well, it was quite an active life group last night as we discussed tensions that the Christmas season causes. Here are some of the ideas that came up:

The Christmas season seems to magnify all the tensions that believers face everyday in this world – not just the tensions that come up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As believers we are called to be different. We strive to do what Jesus did and act how Jesus act which is perhaps best expressed by the two greatest commandments Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27) . We also live in a world where people who dont know Jesus are driven by other things (greed, pride and envy for example) and tend to act accordingly. At Christmas, the tension is caused when we, as believers who want to be driven by the desire to express the love of Christ and be good stewards of resources, come up against the drivers of giving gifts and showing love out of obligation. We’re pulled in all directions!

Giving gifts, we decided, is not, in itself a bad thing. It is, in fact, a way that some people express their love for others. It is some peoples love language. Its the motivation behind the gift giving that is important. Give gifts out of love not out of obligation or guilt.

The Advent Conspiracy is not about wiping the holiday season and all the family traditions that are dear to many of us off the face of the earth. Holiday traditions bring memories (which we laugh at later) and in some families that tradition is a time of much-treasured gathering and re-connecting (and drinking eggnog). What the Advent Conspiracy is about is re-focusing and re-inserting the birth of Christ into the season and remembering what that means to us.

Someone in our group suggested that we need a new time in the year (not around the Holiday Season) where we focus on the arrival of Christ and Adventus Redemtorus (sorry, my latin is a bit rusty!). Would it work if we set aside the four Sundays in May, to focus on hope, preparation, joy and love?

Talk about breaking 2000 years of tradition. Perhaps we call this Advent Conspiracy II !

All in all, here’s what it boils down to. Every day should be Christmas. Every day, we should spend less (be good stewards). Every day we should give more. Every day we should love all, and of course, every day we should love fully. Perhaps thats why Christmas was never mentioned in the Bible. These are behaviors that God calls us to every day of our lives not just on a special occasion at the end of the year.

So mark this on your calendar January 1st, 2009, Advent starts. December 31 2009, Advent ends.  

Royalty, Joy and Holiness all year.  Its gonna be a great 2009!  

Halleluiah!

Written by Fredric Gluck

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Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

Give Global: On Sunday, December 13 during services, we'll take up an Advent Conspiracy offering (a direct result of spending less) to give towards clean water projects and wheelchair needs in Honduras, Kenya and Romania. If you won’t be able to join us at services on that day but still want to participate, just write "Advent" in the memo of your check and drop it in any of the offering boxes.


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