What if you could transform Christmas? Would you?
As Christmas approaches many of us are asking the same questions. We’re no longer interested in the idea of buying for the sake of buying. We’re interested in discovering the redemptive meaning of Christmas. Are our relationships deepening? Are we stepping into what it means to love our neighbor in a restorative way?Are we giving of ourselves in a way that truly has value?
Americans spend an average of $450 billion on Christmas. That’s 1,485 dollars for every man, woman, and child in America. And yet are we really experiencing the original meaning of Christmas? To solve the world’s clean water problem would require only $10 billion dollars. What that means is the problem is not only solvable, it’s easily within our reach.
We would like to extend an invitation to participate with us this year in transforming Christmas from purchasing and getting to really giving. Our goal is simple: To transform Christmas by gathering families together and sacrificially purchasing as many wells as we can.
Advent Conspiracy and Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that has a long history of working with the poor and oppressed in the world. A well costs about $800 to repair or retrofit. That’s less than the average spending per American to transform the life of a village. It costs about $2,500 to rehabilitate a non-working well and about $15,000 to drill a large well that serves a large village.
And we’re not asking you to just write a check on top of everything. We’re asking you to consider working with us as a way of stepping into the deeper meaning of Christmas, a day when love entered the world in a profound way. We’re asking you to consider giving sacrificially in place of the traditional mad rush of gift giving we typically do.
A brochure has been created to understand what we’re doing, invite friends to participate, dream bigger, and help transform the meaning of Christmas.
Donwload it here.
If you do participate, feel free to steal the banner from this post to spread the word.
Here’s the Advent Conspiracy Video – it’s really well done and worth the watch. (ht.)
This Radiohead video is a deeply moving comparison between two worlds. Two worlds that until recently, I never knew existed. Now that I know…and I can’t ignore it any longer. For some, everything must change. This video wrecked me. As I watch, I see my own boy on left and contrast with so many others on the right. I’m thankful…but then I realize – it’s not enough just to be “thankful” then move on about my day ignoring what I know.
The tension lies between a pair of shoes. The point of the video? The video ends with this line…“Some things cost more than you realize.”
(ht: C. Wess Daniels)
…is the buying part.
Check out this very quick post by marketing guru Seth Godin.
I love Seth. I read him and subscribe to him. But this is the consumerism that scares me. It all scares me, but the simplicity of this is unbelievable.
Buying never satisfies. It’s the world’s most accepted form of Heroin. Our economy is driven and actually measured by it. We actually measure how “well” our economy is doing by its’ production and consumption.
Let’s, as a “called out people,” stop this hypnotic dance with the world. How incredible and earth shaking would it be…if Christians started to recognize this trance of consumerism we’ve fallen into. We’d suddenly not fit into this system very well would we? Right now, we’re “okay.” We’re accepted – actually we’re loved. Because we consume…a lot. Everything must change.
Tramps like us…
“Since 1913, the United States witnessed only one other year of such unequal wealth distribution — 1928, the year before the stock market crashed, according to Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.”
I wish this quote wasn’t true. I wish I could post about how things in the United States were improving…that the gap between the wealthy and poor was diminshing – but it’s not. It’s getting worse, much worse.
One of the leading hedge fund managers, John Paulson, made $3.7 billion dollars in 2007. No typo here…it really is $3.7 billion…BILLION…in one year…for one man. It’s 14 times more than Oprah Winfrey and 32 times more than Tiger Woods made last year!
Is the gap really widening? The amount executives are making is 18 times more than they did in 2002. It’s clearly widening.
If you can stomach it, click here for the full article.
The Tension: A year ago – I’d be defending these executives. They work hard-They risk big-They deserve every penny they make. But I can’t do it anymore. This world’s system is all about “getting mine” no matter at whose expense. As long as I get mine – it doesn’t matter if you “get yours.” This is the ultimate in self-protection. There is so much here. This is what this blog is about. How do we, as a called out people, operate completely in contrast to this world’s system? A recent Barna study revealed that Christianity is so closely connected to consumerism that believers can barely be distinguished from the outside culture. “Barely” may even be a stretch. We’ve got to look different. We’ve got to subvert this empire. This is why I blog. To share with you how I’m being transformed and to hear how each of you are being transformed. How the decisions you’re making don’t make any sense to the world and even to the Christian system. How your lives are being invaded and taken over by a new Kingdom culture…and to hear how instead of this being depressing…its actually the best thing that’s ever happened to you!!
Please don’t be quiet any longer. The world is listening. Other disciples are listening. We need to share and hear from each other.
How is the Kingdom culture invading your life? How is your world being turned upside down?