Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less. What do you want for Christmas?
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What do you want for Christmas?
Now talk about a time when you got exactly what you wanted.
The authors suggest that the fastest growing religion in the world isn’t Islam or Christianity, but “radical consumerism.”
Consider all the advertisements you are exposed to every Christmas.
Read James 5:1-6
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
Read Mathew 6: 19-24
19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
In verses 19 and 20, Jesus draws a comparison between earthly and heavenly treasures.
In chapter 4 of the book, the authors note that “Christmas is a season of excess.” Unfortunately, this is more accurate than most of us want to admit.
Perhaps you come to the end of this session feeling a sense of frustration or even defeat. The struggle against wanting more and more is very real indeed. The unrealistic expectations we place on things that rust and fall apart is a truth that each of us must face.
“There only sure remedy is a change of heart, and the best place to begin is at the feet of the newborn Jesus.” From chapter 4
This is the heart of the Advent Conspiracy. More than just an invitation to say no to overspending and mindless gifts, we’re asking you to say yes to a new way of celebrating Christmas. When we resist the empire of consumerism, our time and money are freed up and we are able to give relational gifts to others.
Optional readings: Chapters 2 and 4 of Advent Conspiracy.