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Turn your Christmas upside down

December 23, 2014

The Big Day is almost upon us. Probably now, more than ever, we need to be reminded that Christmas starts with Christ and that there is more to this season than the craziness of Black Friday and Manic Monday.

The Advent Advent Conspiracy logoConspiracy has been around for a few years now but the message is no less relevant or important. It was started by a few churches who realised:

The Christmas story is a story of love, hope, redemption and relationship. So, what happened? How did it turn into stuff, stress and debt? Somehow, we’ve traded the best story in the world for the story of what’s on sale.

Watch their great promo video to find out more.

Their key message is that Christmas can still change the world, and we can be part of this through 4 actions:

Advent Conspiracy-worship-fullyWorship Fully

It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.

Advent Conspiracy-spend-lessSpend Less

Quick question for you: What was the one gift you remember getting for Christmas last year? Next question: What about the fourth gift? Do you remember that one? Truth is many of us don’t because it wasn’t something we necessarily wanted or needed. Spending Less isn’t a call to stop giving gifts; it’s a call to stop spending money on gifts we won’t remember in less than a year. America spends around $600 billion during the Christmas season, and much of that is joyless and goes right onto a credit card. By spending wisely on gifts we free ourselves from the anxiety associated with debt so we can take in the season with a full heart.

Advent Conspiracy-give-moreGive More

We know what you’re thinking. “Wait, didn’t they just say I should spend less, and yet here they are telling me to give more? What’s that all about?” The most powerful, memorable gift you can give to someone else is yourself. And nobody modelled this more than Jesus. So what does this look like for you? Tickets to a ball game or the theatre? A movie night? The main point is simple: When it comes to spending time with those you love, it’s all about quality, not quantity.

Advent Conspiracy-love-allLove All

It all boils down to love. Love from a saviour. Love to a neighbour in need. By spending just a little less on gifts we free up our resources to love as Jesus loves by giving to those who really need help. This is the conspiracy three churches began a few years ago, and has since grown to an international movement where thousands of churches have raised millions of dollars to love others in life-changing ways. It’s not that there’s something wrong with the shopping mall—it’s that the better story is about loving all.

So as you start / continue to run around like a headless chicken for your final Christmas preparations, remember that it’s about so much more than more shopping, more food, more debt, more stress. Christmas should be about more love, more compassion, more sacrifice, more time – Emmanuel, God with us – then, now and forever.

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