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Summary: Talks about how we can better give gifts like the first Christmas ans spend less money but give more meaningfully

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Spend Less – Give More

Advent Conspiracy – Week 2

12/13/2009

Liberia Video

Slide after video

As we continue on in our series during Christmas, we are taking a special offering that will be going to 2 places.

Families in church and Community in need

First it is already helping a number of families in our church and community who have faced difficult times due to job losses and medical situations.

Living Water International

Second, we will be using the remainder of our special advent offering to go toward digging wells in under developed countries so people will have clean water to drink.

As I said last week, water borne illnesses kill about 5000 people a day with the majority being children. We are looking to give the thirsty a drink of water in Jesus’ name.

Transition

We will talk more next week about how the Lord would have us love the people of this world, but this week we are going to be talking about our celebration of Christ’s birth with those the Lord has placed around us.

I want to ask you a question.

What makes a good gift?

Is it the amount of money that is spent on the gift?

Does a good gift come from certain stores only with certain names on them?

Is a good gift one that is completely practical?

Or is a good gift one where there was thought put into

who was receiving the gift and

what it is that they may like or that will communicate thought and love?

I want you to watch this clip and think about what the gifts that are given here communicate.

Friends Christmas video(last minute of Season 2, episode 9 (#33) “The One with Phoebe’s Dad”) - Joey and Chandler give gifts purchased at the last minute from a gas station. (Note: edit out the last gift given to Monica)

Slide after video

Joey and Chandler obviously picked up gifts at the last minute and not only did not spend any money on them, they put little thought into the gifts.

Now I am sure that is none of us here have ever done anything as blatantly thoughtless as that, but I would imagine that many of us have given gifts that had little meaning or thought behind it.

This morning we are continuing in our series, “The Advent Conspiracy.”

Slide

If you were not with us last week, we are banding together to be part of a conspiracy, a conspiracy to take back Christmas from what the consumeristic and often thoughtless pseudo celebration that it has become and restore it in our lives to what the Lord designed Christmas to be, a joyous occasion to

Rejoice in the salvation that has been provided and

worship the Savior who provided it by celebrating and giving to others gifts that are meaningful, thoughtful and sacrificial.

Now I know that there are people who are very thoughtful and give meaningful gifts and are sacrificial in their giving. I want to urge those of you who do these things to keep doing them.

But for many people, Christmas has become a time when we buy and receive gifts, with little thought at all behind why we give or about whom we are giving to.

This is one of the reasons we have started the Advent Conspiracy; to help us overcome this tendency to give without thought. Instead we are seeking to reverse the course and take a stand to help us get back to celebrating Christmas in a way that is reflective of how the Lord would want us to and has been exampled for us through some of the people involved in the first Christmas.

Now to truly be able to do this, we need to have a firmly established and growing relationship with the Lord. That is why last week we focused on what it means to truly and fully worship the Lord.

Christmas is about Jesus and the salvation that has come into the world through Him and the joy we get to experience because of Him. It is a time of great joy.

In Luke 2:10-14

Slide

We see the angels come first to the shepherds to announce the birth of the Christ child. They say to the frightened shepherds, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord…14 "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:10-11, 14)

God’s favor has come upon us in the form of His Son being born in a manger and this is “good news of great joy” and it is something to celebrate with people because it is “for all the people.”

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