The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love. So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed pur-pose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas? What if Christmas became a world-changing event again? It’s time to re-think Christmas. For more info and ideas for gift giving, go to http://www.adventconspiracy.org, http://www.water.cc, and http://www.rethinkingchristmas.com.
The Challenge: Worship Fully
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:3 ESV)
Could those be your words? Would you mean it? Could these words authentically pour out of a heart that is filled to the brim and spilling over with the joy and delight of being totally loved and in love with God? He wants your whole heart, to be the object of your desire – your treasure. Matthew 6:21 says For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Christmas is a time when a lot of other treasures are dangled before us, and a lot of other obligations rob us of our time and energy. In this season that is all about Him, do we give him our leftovers, or do we give our whole heart? Make this Christmas season an opportunity to honor Him by asking Him to help you fall in love with Him all over again. Let our lives be a statement that we really do believe Christmas is all about Christ.
Consider this: Americans spend an average of somewhere around $400 Billion on Christmas presents every year. That amount could solve the world water crisis several times over, free countless sex slaves, feed the poor, etc. We’re not asking you not to buy Christmas presents – we love giving and receiving gifts. Instead, think purposefully and proactively about how you give. Am I trying to fill space under a tree because I feel that I need to? Will this person even remember this gift next year? Consider saving money by resisting the urge to purchase one or two of those kinds of gifts, and instead…
Give in ways that count. Give your time and presence. Make something for someone. Write a song, poem, or letter (for more ideas, visit the web sites above). The way you give can speak of Christ’s incarnational love, as he gave Himself on the first Christmas, so we too can find ways to do the same, allowing our giving to be a testimony to our love for God and one another. And with the money you save…
Love All – And Celebrate!
Our plan is to give the money we save on Christmas presents through an offering to be taken on Christmas Eve. We’ll donate the money to build fresh water wells through Living Water International (www.water.cc). There is no middle man here. In 2008, ACC donated $8,600 to Living Water, and two wells were built, another repaired, in communities in Haiti who lacked access to clean drinking water. God used your giving to significantly bless the lives of over 1800 people, who received the gift of clean water, and also heard the message of Christ – the message of true, living water. There is a report on the specific well projects in the foyer.
This year, we are taking up the challenge once again. Make Christmas meaningful. Lay down the burden and stress that usually accumulates this season. Fall in love with Jesus and enjoy the real gift He has given to you this Christmas. Share that gift in the way you give to others, and let’s share His message using hands feet to bless those in need around the world.