Advent Conspiracy [AC2]
Spend less. Give more. Worship fully. Love all. A year ago, we all became acquainted with a concept called Advent Conspiracy. It's a simple notion, really, that Christmas should be more about presence than presents. In practical terms, we all decided where we could scale back in the present-buying, and give that money we would have spent to a local need and a global need. We set out to raise $27,500 to build a well in Nigeria and provide clothing gift cards to local homeless students. By the time the Christmas lights came down and all the wrapping paper recycled, our church family raised more than $70,000 - which built TWO wells and helped finish a school building in Nigeria, and provided $20,000 in clothing gift cards to homeless students in TWO school districts. Our children led the way; the next generation forged the foundations of this new tradition, which really isn't new at all. Jesus started it more than 2,000 years ago when He entered our stories; now we, as His representatives on the earth, get to enter others' stories. Anyone can do something once. The Good Samaritan could have patted himself on the back after he dragged the Hebrew man to safety. But what we learn from that parable is that love always comes back. The Good Samaritan followed up with the Israelite, and continued to show love. Paul kept writing letters to the churches he started. If we truly have the love of God in us, we can't help but keep coming back. The impact of last Christmas was large, no doubt. But imagine the impact of a church family whose giving is the rule, not the exception. We're engaging in Advent Conspiracy again not as a trendy way to "re-think" Christmas, but as our new tradition. We no longer will let the stories be told around us. Through Christ, we will enter the stories of peoples near and far, meeting temporal and eternal needs, all for the glory of God. The world doesn't quite know how to react to a people who give and give and give. It's otherworldly. It's heavenly. As we celebrate the advent, the birth of Jesus Christ, it's my prayer that we'd see His love and His works on display like never before this season. May He be born in us anew, and may His story continue in us.
December 24th, 2010 | Weekend Service
December 17th, 2010 | Weekend Service
December 11th, 2010 | Weekend Service
December 4th, 2010 | Weekend Service