Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Advent Conspiracy

Tis the season...of consumerism.
Tis the season...of stress.
Tis the season...of debt.
The season of Advent is not about consumerism, stress, or debt, but that's how we live it.
The season of Advent is about anticipation, hope, and expectation, but these get pushed to the side in the hustle & bustle of Christmas.

Is this the way life is? Yes.
Is this the way life has to be? No.

Enter the Advent Conspiracy.

Here's a video explaining what it is all about & promoting an organization that gives water to those without access to clean water.

The Advent Conspiracy
            There are 4 parts to the Advent conspiracy: 1) worship fully, 2) spend less, 3) give more, and 4) love all. 5 pastors in 2006 started this event.
1) Worship fully: Advent is a time to prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas. It is a time to praise God and give Him our attention. This point is number one because it is the most important. Our attitude towards Jesus & God will influence our Christmas. Jesus should be the most important person. Sometimes other activities push Him from the spotlight during Advent & Christmas.
2) Spend less: It is possible to still buy gifts, but we should buy less gifts without importance. Many times (at least in the US), we receive gifts from each person in our immediate family and a gift exchange with our extended family. It is possible to receive 6-15 gifts (or more) during Christmas, but many times, we don't remember our gifts after a month, a year, or more. This Christmas, we should spend less on unimportant gifts. We should spend money on a very special gift. In the US, the people spend $450 billion each year on gifts (many times with a credit card). It's too much. The people at Advent Conspiracy think that it's possible to give clean water to all the world for $20 billion in a year.
 3) Give more: But point number 2 told me to spend less & number 3 tells me to give more? Seriously? We should give more of our time to others. We should focus on quality time. We could give more money (from our gift categories) to organizations like Living Water International or the International Justice Mission. 783 million people in the world do not have clean water. (That's one person in nine). 2 billion people in the last 20 years have received clean water, so there's hope!!
4) Love all: Jesus loved us and loves us. We should give this love to others. When we spend less on gifts, there is more money to help others. We could give things to people that need them.

So, this Advent, conspire.
Conspire to worship Jesus fully, not bow to the idol of consumerism.
Conspire to spend less, after all, is Christmas your birthday?
Conspire to give more quality time & gifts to help others (like fighting slavery & building wells).
Conspire to love all, including those Jesus called the least of these.
Will you join the conspiracy?

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