Advent is the season set apart to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. We look back at his first coming (Luke 2), and we look forward to his second coming. (Revelation 19:11-18) It is to be a sacred season in which we daily spend time with the Spirit and Word and the community of faith to see the hand of God in history to bring about the birth of incarnate God and the return as the risen, triumphant King.
But who has time for all that? Our culture has swallowed up the intent of this season and has seduced us to buy stuff and go into debt to give things people don't want to people we don't like--and those we do. And, we have gladly said yes to the "little g" god, consumerism.
Check out my friend, Jim Denison's blog, "What did Jesus think of Black Friday." The numbers and stories will stagger you. (You will want to subscribe to his daily email, too. It's good stuff.) He has pointed out the absurdity of our actions to get more for less.
One of my favorite posts on facebook on Black Friday was something like, "Isn't it ironic that we fight each other to get more stuff the day after we have just given thanks for all we have?"
This scandal of Advent is one of the reasons Legacy Church has joined the Advent Conspiracy movement rather than "Occupy Wherever" to make our statement that this Christmas we will worship fully, spend less, give more (presence), and love all.
We have applied the intent of the movement (rather than giving to build wells) to serving school age parents in the Plano Independent School District. (SAPP) We have asked people to buy at least one less gift in order to give a new "baby shower" item that will go to the young parents in the program. The gifts will go to support the parents and their children at the graduation event in May. Legacy Church will host the event, and these gifts will go to the students who have earned "bucks" throughout the school year. Legacy members also host their monthly meetings and are mentors to the students.
What is Advent to you this year? Are you making room for the Christ Child in your life? If you want some ideas of how your family can join the conspiracy, go to the Advent Conspiracy site or their idea site rethinking Christmas. Post some ideas here, too, if you like.
Join the conspiracy. Make your actions tell of the Good News of God's love in Christ Jesus.