18 November 2006

Work in Progress: The Advent Conspiracy

Last Sunday our pastor challenged us with....

"The Vision for this Advent:

Herod’s Kingdom (the culture in which Christ literally showed up) was once driven by the values of mass wealth, power of military force, greed, and personal gain. Christ enters this culture through poverty, weakness, dependency, and sacrifice. This is the biblical picture of Advent.

How does our current celebration of Christmas reflect this incarnation? ... What would our Advent season look like this year if we intentionally chose to be a prophetic voice in our culture? How can we model the Advent story prophetically to our culture by the way we live and by what we choose to value? Can we actually celebrate Advent in a meaningful way that points to the story, that points to Jesus?

  • God became poor so that we could be rich.
    What are the social implications of this for us? How can we choose not to waste what we have but give it away in ways that meet significant needs of those around us? Can our gift giving feed hunger instead of greed?
  • God gave himself relationally.
    First and foremost we desire to give gifts to each other this season that are relationally driven. We desire to learn what it means to give of ourselves and not just give stuff.
  • When Jesus showed up, people worshipped him.
    What would it look like if Jesus was actually the focus of Advent? Can we respond like the shepherds and Magi, who celebrated the first Advent by praising God and worshipping the Son?
  • When we receive, we receive Jesus, not stuff.
    If Jesus became poor that we may be rich, are we truly receiving the riches that he has given us? Are we receiving Him? How do we as a community ultimately embrace Jesus this Advent season and not be distracted by all the hype around us?"
You can see more about Advent at Imago here.

We are encouraged to make gifts (in community) this year and then use the money that we have saved for a special offering for global and local ministries. I'm not sure how all of this will pan out for Nate and I since we live far from the ones we would like to give gifts to. But I am motivated to try to make even more gifts than I normally would and to try to spend even less money. As such, I'm looking for great ideas for gifts that can be handcrafted.

Here are some sites if you're interested in the same sorts of ideas:
It's hard to find gifts you can make that aren't....well, downright embarrassing. Anybody out there in the blogosphere with some good ideas?

1 comment:

Kris said...

Love the idea. Thanks for the encouragement to think about the season in a different way. I would love to implement this in our family more.

As to making my own gifts, I like to bake for others, but my goal is to become more crafty in the years to come. We'll see.