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Supplied photo

Supplied photo

Rev. Sue-Ann Ward, Grace Anglican Church

Faith Matters: Rethink Christmas

When looking up the word conspiracy in the online Urban Dictionary, you find the following entry: conspiracy – definition cannot be released because the government is keeping it a secret.

Some might think that the same thing is happening with the true meaning of Christmas.

At Grace Church we are striving to make sure that the reason for Christmas is not a secret by becoming part of the Advent Conspiracy.

The Advent Conspiracy was developed in 2006 by pastors Rick McKiney, Greg Holder, and Chris Seay. The conspiracy is simply a joining together of people who believe that Christmas should be about celebrating the birth of Jesus, rather than shopping.

The Advent Conspiracy invites us to rethink Christmas.  It encourages us to “let go of our shallow cultural celebration of Christmas and enter the deep waters of the incarnation.” In order to do this, we are urged to “worship more, spend less, give more, and love all.”

Messages from retailers and advertisers are constantly flooding us. Most of us are already drowning in debt, but we are being told that our Christmas can only be a magical one if we buy what they are selling. It’s no wonder many of us get caught up in the torrent of spending.

During the season of Advent, when we are called to prepare for the coming of God into our world in the form of the child, Jesus, it is striking that many people spend more time following the religion of hyper-consumerism than the teachings of Jesus.

The invitation of the Advent Conspiracy is to worship Jesus more fully than we usually do this season. We are encouraged to float in the peace of the message of our loving God rather than thrash around in the chaos of the mall and then sink into the dark depths of debt.

The conspirators are all in support of giving gifts. God gave us the gift of Jesus as an example to us that the most precious gift that we can give to another is our presence and love. Wouldn’t Christmas be magical if we followed this example and spent less time shopping and more time relaxing and having fun with loved ones?

Christmas is about loving all, not just our family and our friends, but also our neighbours near and far. Jesus tells us the reason for his being born into our world in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”

By spending less money on unneeded stuff, we have more resources that can be shared with those who truly don’t have enough food, clean water, medicine, education, shelter, or freedom.

Join the conspiracy and immerse yourself in the true meaning of Christmas.

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