…if reckless drivers tried harder to get prime parking than to protect pedestrians.
…if ruthless shoppers rolled their eyes at us because we paid with cash instead of credit.
…if it’s 80 and humid on Christmas Eve.
…if there are 900 miles between us and someone we wish were here.
…if we are weary.
Even if we are tempted to be distracted by all those things, we have reason to rejoice.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'” -Luke 2:10-11
May we let what we celebrate disrupt our lives in all the ways they should be disrupted. And may whose birth we celebrate use what would otherwise distract us to fill us with a thrill of hope.
Christmas is coming. And it is, in my opinion (though possibly in fact), the most wonderful time of the year.
I realize that as I write this, it has only been 10 hours since I ate turkey on Thanksgiving. But there is more to Thanksgiving’s end than a tryptophan-induced coma. The end of Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of Advent, a liturgical season in which followers of Christ await and prepare for the celebration of His birth.
It is also when all kinds of people lose their freakin’ minds. Sometimes, the holiday mind-loss is voluntary (case in point: shopping on Black Friday.). Other times, people don’t pre-plan to do things that are crazy. They only succumb to the insanity when the voluntarily-crazies cut them off with cars and shopping carts or call them out for paying with checks instead of credit.
And so what happens is, while we go into Advent intending to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we get a little distracted when we have to fight over the last can of pumpkin puree, or to get into and out of parking spots, or with some kid’s angry grandma because she yelled at us when we glanced at the last set of Harry Potter Legos and she thought doing so meant we’d try to take it from her cart.
Not a particularly productive way to spend the season. Also, thankfully, not a necessary way to spend it. There is a moving, rebellious alternative: the Advent Conspiracy. If you haven’t heard of it, take 2 minutes and 39 seconds to watch this:
Feeling free to conspire yet?
From the Advent Conspiracy blog:
1. [AC] was created by three pastors who simply wanted to challenge people to make Christmas personal again. We are asking folks to consider doing four things: Worship Jesus Fully, Consider Spending Less on gifts that are bought out of obligation, Give More relational gifts, and use a little bit of the money you didn’t spend to Love All by helping those in need.
2. No money comes through, to, under, over or around [AC]. We are not an organization. We’re a movement.
3. We really love giving people clean water (did you know the lack of clean water is the number one killer in our world). You should check out Living Water International for more info. That being said, we want you to make this a personal thing between you and God. If you have another organization that you wish to support, go for it!