Advent simply means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. Traditionally Christians have celebrated the coming of Christ and his birth during the advent season, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. And while I might have grown up opening tiny doors on a calendar during the month of December in order to get some toy or treat, I certainly didn't have much of an awareness of Jesus and what this season has meant for Christians for thousands of years.
It is a time of preparation. It is a time of waiting. It is a time of tension.
Now as a father of two young boys I am thinking a lot more about what I want to instill in them during this season and show them what it means to conspire against the pressures of the culture around us.
And while there are many incredible things about the holiday season; the parties, the food, the time with friends and family ... there are also many components of the season the lead us to focus on ourselves, our own desires, and forget the needs of those around us. As I'm writing this I literally just watched an add for Amazon Prime offering "Peace. Delivered." all with the angelic choir music in the background. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy my "free" one day shipping as much as the next guy but I mean come on, really? Am I supposed to believe that Amazon can really bring me lasting peace?
This advent season we are leading our family, and our local church, to conspire against the consumerism, debauchery, and indulgence that has come to characterize so much of the holiday season in America by intentionally spending less in order to give more.
It's a simple idea. During the advent season we are conspiring for a better world with Jesus by intentionally spending less in order to give more, and using that money to provide clean water to people that don't have it in Rwanda. 100% of donations go directly to supporting Living Water International's work in Rwanda.
As Christians this season we are reminded not only of our freedom and salvation in Christ, but also of our waiting for his return to make all things new, and our groaning during that waiting. So during our waiting we must ask ourselves the question, are we going to be closer to Christ by this December 25, or further away?