Have you heard about the Advent Conspiracy? It's a movement of churches and followers of Jesus who desire to make Christmas really about Christ! Their message is this:
Worship More. Spend Less. Give More. Love All.
We heard Chris Seay talk about this idea in October and it's been rolling around in my head for awhile now....how do we make Christmas about worshipping Jesus? How do we make it NOT about gifts and money? Can we do both? Can we give gifts to our families AND give money to those who need it most?
West Side Christian Church has taken this idea and run with it, getting their church on board with A Different Kind of Christmas. They're hoping to collect $60,000 in their Christmas offering, sending it to the community they've adopted in Kenya. How exciting is that?! I was at the doctor with one of our kids yesterday, and the doctor was suggesting that maybe it's easier for our kids to understand than it is for us to catch hold of. Our kids can get the idea that a laptop or ipod or Wii doesn't make any sense when there are people living without bathrooms...or clean water....or food.
It's the parents that are having the problem with this (at least I am)....and it's more than just wanting to give good gifts to my children. It's about pleasing my family, making a good impression on someone with the most thoughtful or creative gift. It's about being "fair" with our giving. Ugly, I know.
So how is it going to work for the Magruder family this year? Well, we're trying to give relational gifts this year - - gifts that encourage families to spend time together....we're going to be spending time with friends in our home over the holidays instead of dropping a cookie plate or a little candle off at their house. We're going to attempt to slow the pace down a little bit and worship Jesus this Christmas. Our family is doing some special giving to the Jump for Joel ministry to kids in Kenya, where $3 can feed a child for a whole week or pay for a week's worth of school.
What are some of your ideas for doing things a little bit differently this year?