Sunday, December 1, 2013

Upside Down Advent

Many years ago when Jesus came to earth, He turned the world upside down with the truth about forgiveness and eternal life. He was the fulfillment of Scripture, but His own people who knew Scripture did not recognize Him.

In more than two thousand years since Jesus came as a baby the first Christmas, our gift giving to celebrate His birth has become a mega marketing opportunity for retailers. Our concept of showing love means spending billions of dollars on gifts that somehow end up back in the stores for exchange, in thrift stores or the trash. So how do we resist buying into the big debt and meaningless gifts?

What did Jesus do? He gave Himself. Can we do less? After all, it's all about Jesus, right? And if it's all about Jesus, it begins with worship. Mary set the example for us in her song:

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One
has done great things for me - holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors (Luke 1:46-56 NIV). 
During this advent season, our church is studying a series titled Advent Conspiracy. I hope you will check out the website, the video and resources. I downloaded the audiobook to my iPhone so I can get more spiritually fit while I walk and get somewhat more physically fit. It's all about worship, spending less, giving more (of yourself, time and resources) and loving others.

I would like to know your thoughts about Christmas consumerism. Are you doing anything differently? I have to confess, this may take some adjusting for me. What about you?

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