“Are you tired of how consumerism has stolen the soul of Christmas? This year, take a stand. Join the groundswell of Christ-followers who are choosing to make Christmas what it should be- a joyous celebration of Jesus’ birth that enriches our hearts and the world around us, not a retail circus that depletes our pocketbooks and defeats our spirits”. From Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay, and Greg Holder.
Join Waretown UMC this season as we discover and explore through Advent Conspiracy how Christmas can still change the world
Prayer of the Week
(pray this prayer each day this week)
God of Justice,
You call me to be different from the world. You show me the way to live fully and bring the fullness of hope into the world. You have given me good gifts to not only enjoy but also employ in your mission to transform this world into your Kingdom. May your Spirit be upon me to bring justice and mercy to a hurting world in small, simple daily ways as well as big, sacrificial, and consequential ways. This week help me to temper my participation in the economy of this world. Keep me from spending for fulfillment, spending to express love, spending to lift my spirits, spending, spending, spending. Instead, fill me with wisdom, courage and clarity to do the good work of justice and mercy, giving and serving and through these find your promised joy.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Read Isaiah 40:3-5; Luke 3:4-18; Luke 7:24-29
Week 2: Questions for Reflection
We live in a culture that is defined by consumerism. We are most often and most readily defined as consumers by all but our closest friends and family. It’s no surprise that such an identity makes us shop, spend, and buy to celebrate, show love, feel good etc.
John the Baptist came to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’. He doesn’t call people to shop and spend though. He calls them to repent (change their priorities) and act on behalf of others with justice and mercy. How much do you need to ‘change your priorities’ in how you see yourself? In what you value most? In how you celebrate Christmas and show love to friends and family?
How often have you thought about doing acts of justice and mercy? Acts of justice seek to change ‘the system’ that causes harm to vulnerable people or groups (like standing up against racism or working to end human trafficking). Acts of mercy seek to provide for an immediate need for someone in trouble (a meal, a coat, a shelter. Look around your neighborhood… where does it need more justice and/or mercy?
What is one specific way you can bring a gift of justice to the world THIS Christmas? What is one specific way you can bring a gift of mercy to the world THIS Christmas? Commit to doing these two things.