Back in 2006, a handful of pastors gathered together to create what they called an “Advent Conspiracy.” Their hope was to revitalize, as much as they were able, the true meaning of the Christmas season and to rebel against the hyper-consumerism to which so many of us Christians so often fall victim. Their Advent Conspiracy proposed to spend less on gifts and give more to the poor—and so they partnered with Living Water International in order to build clean water wells in impoverished areas of the globe.
In their first year, Advent Conspiracy raised $500,000 to build a high capacity well in Nicaragua and 13 more wells in Liberia. By 2008, they were able to donate three million dollars for similar clean water projects. Today the Advent Conspiracy consists of more than 1500 churches and organizations around the globe. That’s a lot of love—a lot of life. All because people spent less on gifts and more on relationships.
The premise is simple. During advent the congregation learns about how to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all. It was my idea to participate in this adventure and I really think there are some people who are considering how they interact with Christmas this year.
I am not saying reject Christmas, I’m suggesting we claim them and participate in them. Instead of allowing them to lead us away from Jesus, perhaps that can point us to Jesus moving our hearts and minds to a deeper, fuller worship of him.
What if… every time you saw candles or Christmas lights, you let them remind you of the One who has come into this world as the Light of the World?
What if… every time you saw the crowd of desperate shoppers, or were caught in one yourself, you be reminded that by grace Jesus has already provided all we need for abundant life?
What if… every time you saw an opportunity to give to a charity, like the Baldwinsville Christmas burrow or the Salvation Army, you let it remind you that Jesus promised to be found in the least of these, our brothers and sisters?
What if… every time you were tempted to eat yet another Christmas cookie, you let it remind you that we have already been fed by the Bread of Life?
What if… every time you heard a Christmas song, it reminded you of the very first Christmas carol sung by the angels to announce the birth of the Christ child?
What if… every time you went to a Christmas party, you saw that crowd around you as the very people Jesus came to save?
That would be a conspiracy. That could change our holidays. That would change our world. This is the first movement in our Advent Conspiracy. We are being called to a revolution this Advent season.