advent

Christmas is under constant threat, that is, at least, according to TV and movies. While listing for myself all the Christmas movies and TV specials that I hope to watch with Kate and the kids this year, I suddenly noticed how many of them involve someone having to “save Christmas.” Usually, the threat against Christmas takes one of two forms: either Santa gets into some kind of trouble and is not able to deliver the goods on time, or it turns out that people have lost touch with the “true meaning of Christmas” or the “spirit of Christmas,” leaving them lost and confused during what is supposed the “most wonderful time of the year.”  Sometimes these two threats are even combined, as in the Will Ferrell movie “Elf.”
The entertainment industry knows what kind of stories speak to people. They bank billions of dollars on this, which says to me that people are really worried about Christmas. It’s at the very top of the list of endangered holidays. From what I can tell, it may in fact be the only one on that list. There are no movies about saving New Year’s or Labour Day, or even Easter. Why are we so worried about Christmas, and more importantly, do we really need to be?
The original Christmas story, of course, has nothing to so with saving Christmas. The story of the birth of Jesus, the Christ, is about God’s promise to save us; to save us from sin and death, and to save the world from war and injustice; to save us from things which are far more serious than anything that might threaten Christmas.

And if we believe that in Jesus God has come to save us and will come again to fulfil his promise of salvation, well then, we really don’t need to worry about Christmas. All we need to do is celebrate it. That’s the idea behind the Advent Conspiracy.
A lot of the madness and sadness around Christmas is driven, one way or another, by the notion that it’s up to us to save Christmas. It’s up to us to save Christmas for our kids or for our grandkids, to save it for our families, or, most often, to save it for ourselves by having the perfect Christmas – the most meaningful and bountiful and traditional-filled Christmas. But what happens, most often, is that we mostly just end up missing out on the real celebration, which is that in Jesus God came to save us and will come again to fulfill his kingdom.

The Advent Conspiracy invites us to stop trying to save Christmas and simply celebrate it by doing four things:

Worshipping Fully – because Christmas begins and ends with Jesus
Spending Less – so we can be free to focus on what really matters
Giving More – more of our presence, and time, and heart which are the best gifts we can give
Loving All – the poor, the forgotten, and the marginalized in ways that make a difference; the way Jesus’ love does.

We’re going to be looking at each of these ideas in more detail during the four weeks of Advent – on Sunday morning, and during a small group series taking place on Tuesday mornings at 10am and Friday evenings at 6:30pm.

Whether you’re able to join us for these gatherings or not I hope you are able to truly celebrate this Christmas, and know all the hope and peace and joy and love that Jesus has come to bring us.


messy_advent

Sunday, November 27, 2016
4:00 — 6:00 pm (includes supper)
Bring a Friend
St Paul’s Anglican Church
There is NO youth group on Nov 27

For more news…

2016 11 27 St Paul’s News