what is advent conspiracy?
We all know the Christmas story is about hope, love, redemption and promise. So, what happened? How did it turn into a time to buy stuff, sit in traffic, pay bills, go to church and pray for lenient return policies? What if we could watch Christmas transform the world before our eyes? Welcome to the Advent Conspiracy.
The concept is simple:
This Christmas, babies will be born in ramshackle homes. Herod will not try to kill them, but their drinking water will. Again Jesus will turn our hearts to children. We who still hear angels will journey to see Christ in the least of these. Our camels traded for drill rigs, we will bear the gift of life: clean drinking water, offered in Jesus' name. Mothers will treasure these things in their hearts.
This is full worship. Worship derives from Old-English words meaning "worth-ship." What we give worth to is what we worship: possessions, God, shopping, children, money, Jesus. We worship all the time. Advent is a time to consciously direct our worship towards Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. A time to worship fully.
"For God so loved the world he gave us a shopping season."
Wait a minute...Jesus came to give abundant life. So why does Christmas leave us feeling so spent? When we spend less anxiety, energy, worry, and money on things that don't matter, then the things that do will come to the surface of our lives. We all love Jesus, but it's hard to feel it when life gets clogged with obligation, traffic, stores and debt.
Seek out just a few people you trust and agree that this year you are not going to commodify your love for each other. Figure out how to give each other time, attention, and love, then channel the money you save on something that reflects the heart of Jesus.
When you give a lot of gifts are you really giving much? We're giving more when we give our time. Giving ourselves to others is the original Christmas tradition.
Make a thoughtful gift that shows someone you've been paying attention. Spend time with the kids. Sled, ride a bike, play a game, take a hike, go fishing. Give a massage, baby-sit, fly a kite, talk. Buy a pound of special coffee you'll only drink with mom. Write a poem, draw a picture, bake something yummy. By giving time you'll spend less; you'll be free to give away a little of what you saved and God will multiply it.
The Christmas story is a love story. The grand narrative of God getting his long-since-fallen people to turn back to the manger. It continues with the cross and our Savior's perfect love transforming even the most tragic defeat into the ultimate victory.
This is a season for love to triumph. It's a season for love to make anything possible. Beyond the white-noise of holiday frenzy, God has never stopped inviting us into his heart. We know how our love story ends. It ends with God and the Church inviting all who are thirsty to drink of the free gift of the water of life. The door to this possibility opens in a manger.
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