Friday, October 23, 2009

Advent Conspiracy: Christmas Can Change the World

Two thousand years ago, a little baby was born in a barn to an unwed teenage mother in the middle east. It was, and is, the most significant event in human history--God entered into our world as one of us in order to reconcile creation to Himself. Yet this beautiful story has been lost in the wrapping paper, the Black Friday stampedes, the credit card debt, and the overall stress of the holiday season. Sure, there are bumper stickers that claim "Jesus is the reason for the season." But when those bumper stickers are plastered on cars crammed in mall parking lots and holiday traffic jams, the message gets lost in the noise.

This is why a simple-yet-profound idea like Advent Conspiracy is such a breath of fresh air. A few years ago, three pastors were venting about their frustrations with the Christmas season. So they decided to do something about it. What if Christmas became less about the religion of consumerism and more about worshiping the Creator who entered into His creation? What if people learned to spend less money on material stuff, give more of themselves and their resources into relationships, and loved both the people in their lives and the poor and marginalized of the world? What if we took the money spent on Christmas and used it to end extreme poverty and the water crisis?

Those three pastors have written a book compiled of stories and reflections on this beautiful idea. It is concise, articulate, and filled with the stories of changed lives. Advent Conspiracy is such a simple idea that can literally transform an entire culture.

Check out the book here, and see the website here. This year, we'll be participating as a family and with our junior high ministry in Advent Conspiracy. (I'll blog more about that as Christmas approaches).

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