This year for Advent our congregation has joined the Advent Conspiracy, a movement to help us regain some balance in our celebration of Christmas by focusing on four guiding principles–Worship Fully; Spend Less; Give More; Love All. Those ideas form the center of our worship each week as we move towards Christmas. This past week we focused on Spend Less.
So imagine my surprise to overhear a conversation this morning. A lady was discussing the need to see a doctor but she responded, “I can’t go to the doctor now! I have to buy Christmas!”
Now I know what she meant. There are gifts that she wants to get for her children, her family, those she loves. She is struggling with how to balance our need to express our love for others while balancing our checkbooks. I so understand that pressure!
But the echo of Sunday keeps coming back to me. Spend Less. It is not only good economic advice, it is a vital reminder that we can’t “Buy Christmas!” It isn’t something we buy! It is a gift we receive.
It was another time when I wished I had heard the story before my sermon. I would have included it, maybe at the end. I would have told the story and then we would have sung the old revival song, “Jesus Paid it All.”
Not Joy to the World, but rather appropriate as we conspire this Advent.