Summary: Looks at how the people from the first advent worshipped the Lord and how we can learn to worship fully
Joseph worshipped through Obedience
Mary Worshipped through Submission
The Magi worshipped through Sacrifice
December is upon us and it is often about this time that the craziness of the holiday season begins in full.
Shopping has begun and the stress levels of what to buy for each person on our list begins to rise.
Something doesn’t seem right about that, does it?
I mean this is the time of year that we should be rejoicing and celebrating the salvation that has been provided through God sending His Son into the world, not stressing out over what to give someone.
It seems that sometimes we lose focus about what Christmas is about and instead the focus becomes the stuff that we give and get.
So this year, we are joining a conspiracy. The Advent Conspiracy.
We are joining with other churches to conspire to take back Christmas from what it has become and return it to what it was meant to be.
Here is a little promo video of what this series will be about.
Advent conspiracy promo video 2008
Slide after video
We are conspiring together to take back Christmas from what it has become to what it was designed to be, a time of celebration and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the next 3 weeks leading up to Christmas, we are going to talk
about how to Worship the Lord Fully,
about spending less and Giving more to those around us whom the Lord has put us in relationship with, and
about how to love all as the Lord has shown us.
We are also going to be taking a special Advent Conspiracy offering. We have envelopes available for you to take make that offering or you can just write “Advent” in the memo line on the check and drop it in our regular offering.
Not looking to be another item on the list
We are not looking for this to be an added cost to you this Christmas.
Instead, we seriously want you to think about what you are spending and
perhaps buy one less gift for those you buy multiple thing for, or
spending less on everyone or
instead of buying something, make something,
and use those resources toward this special offering. This offering will be going to 2 places.
Help for those in our church and community
First, we are helping out with some of the needs of people in our own church and community.
There are those right here who have had a struggle this year with finances because of job losses and or medical situations and we are going to be helping some of those families and people in our church whom the Lord has placed here who have some needs.
Help for those internationally to have clean water
A second way we are looking to reach beyond our walls and love in a way that the Lord would have us love, is by helping those in foreign communities who do not have clean water to drink.
We will be joining with Living Water international to help dig wells in areas that need it.
Maybe you are thinking, digging wells? Really?
(Cup of clean water/cup of dirty water)
In the land of plenty that we live in, having a drink of water is not something that most of us think of as a death defying event, but in some countries, it really is.
Water borne illnesses are the leading cause of death in under resourced countries.
Each year, 1.8 million people die from water borne illnesses.
Remember the horror of 9/11 where nearly 3,000 people died in one day?
Well, 1.8 million a year is nearly 5,000 people a day.
And even more tragic is that nearly 4,000 of those are children.
Imagine something worse than 9/11 happening every single day.
It is estimated that it would take about $10 to $15 billion in the hands of Christian organizations, not governments, where corruption and theft are rampant, to end the world’s water crisis.
While $10 to $15 billion seems like a lot, when you put it in the perspective that Americans’ spent $450 billion last year during Christmas, it is not that much.
And when we are able to reach people with some of the most basic needs, we are able to share the gospel with them.
I want to show you a video clip of how Living Water International is having an effect not only in meeting basic human need of clean water, but being able to provide living water to those people as well.
Advent Conspiracy – Living Water International video – 1.5 minutes
Slide after video
Meeting basic human needs to share the Love of God.
So that is where this special offering that we are collecting will be going.