by Erin Bird
During Advent, we are considering the four tenets of Advent Conspiracy: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. If you are familiar with Advent Conspiracy, I encourage you to not skim or skip this week's article, but to take time to read and ponder. If you are unfamiliar with the heart and intent behind Advent Conspiracy, read this explanation.
To take us into our third week, here is the Advent Conspiracy team with their thoughts on Tenet #3: Give More.* Enjoy!
We’ve talked about rebelling against consumerism by spending less, but now we’re encouraging you to give more… Is that a contradiction? Nope! Giving more isn’t about giving more toys, more gadgets, more clothes, more gift cards, more stuff.
God is calling us to give more intentionally and relationally. That means giving more of our time, our energy, our memories, our talents, our presence. It’s a both/and. Spend less money and give more of yourself to the ones you love.
We believe that the best gifts celebrate a relationship. Think back on the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received. Chances are there is a story and a relationship that was connected to that gift. Now try and remember all of the gifts you were given last year… For most of us, that’s hard to do.
It sounds obvious, yet we seem to have drifted away from this liberating, straightforward truth: The Father gave his one and only Son. God’s answer for the world’s problems has never been material things. God did not give us more stuff – even good stuff like work, food, or health. He gave us himself, the most priceless and personal gift of all!
Relational giving means that we think about the other person–who they are and what they care about. We focus more on giving our undivided presence and less on a pile of presents under the tree. This takes time and effort on our part. These kinds of gifts often require planning, but you’ll hardly be able to wait until Christmas to give such a gift!
When we give relationally during the Advent season, this is what we remember: it’s an opportunity to worship as we remind each other of the gift that was given for our sake. If we can resist the trap of giving easy gifts, and reject the assumption that giving expensive gifts is the best way to express love, something else might begin to happen. Our kids, family, neighbors, and coworkers will watch us celebrate Christmas differently, and through our actions, they will hear the good news of the Gospel.
Some ideas to help you Give More:
*appeared originally on the Advent Conspiracy blog
Receive Riverwood's "News & Notes" weekly email in your inbox. Submit your email address below and stay in the loop.
We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.
It doesn't matter to us if you:
No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, we want to help you become who God has created you to be.