Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Conspiracy: worship fully, spend less, give more, love all

An advertisement popped up in my e-mail inbox promoting "Cyber Monday," a follow-up (or a day parallel) to Black Friday. These two days are symbols for the excessive consumption that has become the priority of our holiday season.   I don't mean to say that we should refrain from purchases entirely.  Sometimes making modest and mindful purchases are very compatible with the season.  Perhaps we could incorporate the concept of fair trade into our holiday purchases? (Another blog post is coming on that subject).

A phrase that I often see during this season: "Keep Christ in Your Christmas."  At least one of my Facebook friends put up a logo with this very important and legitimate thought as her profile picture.  The sentiment is that all the secular celebrations and rituals, and especially consumerism, seem to overshadow the commemoration of the birth of Christ.  

The truth is that it's not just about a single day (the eve of Dec. 24 and Dec. 25).  The true spirit lies in the full season of Advent, which started this past Sunday.  And what I like about this season is that "keeping Christ in our Christmas," does not mean excluding those whose values and beliefs are not compatible with ours.  We are to love our neighbor fully and without judgment.

The Advent Conspiracy movement provides a great tool, urging us to make this season more meaningful through four simple actions: worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all.

Here is wording on their site.
The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.
So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.
And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?
What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?
And here's a great video.

Wishing all of us a Blessed and Meaningful Advent.

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