Join the Conspiracy!

(I'm a week late in posting this, but here you go.)

True story: several years ago when I served at a church in Duncanville, I visited a family in their home for a funeral visit. In the middle of the summer, a Christmas tree graced the living room. It was this family's practice to never take their tree down. The son of this couple met a young woman, and was going to her parents' home for the first time. She warned him: "You might think this is weird, but my parents keep their Christmas tree up all year long." "Mine too!", he thought. You knew the relationship was off to a good start!

Admit it: you love Christmas that much too. Maybe not enough to keep your tree up or lights on year round, but you dig the holiday. So do I. To get us in the spirit of things, let's count down our favorite Christmas cliches:

1. It's too commercial. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $600 billion this holiday season. FYI, that more than thirty times what we spend on Mother's Day!
2. The Christmas season unofficially starts too soon. Stores have had their holly, etc. up since Labor Day. Radio stations are playing 100% Christmas music three weeks before Thanksgiving. Your neighbor has already decorated her house.
3. It's lost its religious significance-- now, like Thanksgiving, it is a secular observance more than anything else.
4. Speaking of Thanksgiving, Black Friday is getting old. Forcing low wage earning employees away from their families so shoppers can save $10 on an iPad stinks. Retailers react differently: some are shaming those who open on Thanksgiving (because nothing says, "Give Thanks!" like shaming someone); others are stretching Black Friday to Black Week or month. $600 billion is not enough!
5. It's too busy. Office parties, Sunday school parties, school holiday concerts, you know the drill. Get those tacky sweaters ready!

Several years ago, a few pastors and congregations had an idea to combat some of our cliches. They called this movement Advent Conspiracy. They produced fun videos like this one. Instead of spending so much,  parishioners were encouraged to spend less. Instead of participating in the busyness, use your time more wisely. Instead of buying clothes or toys no one will wear or play with, donate that money to a worthy cause-- like water wells. In seven years, nearly $10 billion has been raised to provide clean drinking water to folks around the world.

Over the next few weeks at Custer Road, we'll learn more about this movement and invite you to join in. By doing so, you will rediscover the Christmas joy that is possible when we:

  • Worship Fully
  • Spend less
  • Give more
  • Love all