Monday, December 21, 2009

christmas [IS] changing the world...

Have you been hearing about Advent Conspiracy in the national media lately? (If you don't even know what Advent Conspiracy (AC) is then you can read my post on it HERE and link to the other tons of posts I've written about it.) [*Make sure you make it to the bottom & watch the video!]

AC was on the front page of Yahoo! for a couple days and it was also the most emailed story. A few of the promo videos have gone over 1 million views on YouTube! There have been a few spots on AC on CNN over the past few weeks.
+ CNN Headline News did a whole piece on AC during their prime time hour last Tuesday! In fact, they even talked to me on the phone about AC while they had Greg Holder (1 of the founders) on there for an interview. It was pretty cool to get to talk about living out the real story of Jesus at Christmas time through AC = Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All. And how getting presents is kind of pointless for me when people are dying because they don't have clean water to drink. It would be stupid for me to get a new shirt or some flashy tech toy when that same money could save the lives of tons of people!

Anyway, I think it's pretty cool that this counter-cultural, unAmerican, rebellious, revolutionary little conspiracy is getting big time national attention. I believe it's because people see how pointless their "story" at Christmas is (consumerism) and see this revolutionary side of the story of Jesus as very appealing.

We just finished the Advent Conspiracy series in Student Impact at Ridge Church. We talked about this idea for 5 Sundays + talked about it  a little one week in the adult service. We're trying to bring in enough money just from our student ministry to build a whole well for a village that doesn't have water! Pretty awesome. I've been stoked to see us fill up a water jug with wads of cash!
My heart gets so pumped when I see some of the students "getting it" & getting into the conspiracy. Some students are getting less so they can give more (they money that would have been spent on their presents) to Living Water International (through AC) to build a well for a village of people. I'm stoked that teenagers can even still sacrifice like that & put other people above themselves after we've pumped them so full of greed and consumerism and pride and the "American Dream". I'm so glad to see students understand that giving water to thirsty people is just like giving it to Jesus... and that actually motivates them to forfeit gifts of their own in order to LOVE others.

And it's really cool to see students being creative - out chopping up trees and cleaning yards to get donations to give to AC. Crazy awesome.

Throughout the AC series in Student Impact we've been talking about and asking the question "Can Christmas STILL change the world?" We know Christmas changed the world the 1st time = Jesus came to save us all. But can we live in such a way this Christmas that we can still change the world? That's up to us I guess. I am positive that we will NEVER regret $ that we donate to save the lives of children. Will we ever regret spending all that money at Christmas? Maybe...

To help me answer the question "Can Christmas still change the world?" I got a little help for this Sunday.
Some of the money for Advent Conspiracy has already been coming in from around the world and given to Living Water International. On Saturday night they sent me a video that we watched on Sunday morning. Just a week ago they were able to build a well for a village in Peru! You've GOTTA watch this video as they interview some of the long time villagers who have never had clean water... & then you get to see the 1st gush of water shooting out of the ground from this new well and the kids playing and splashing in it!

Christmas already is changing the world. And we can keep changing the world for villages like this one even more. It's up to us.

What do YOU want this Christmas? A sweater? Or to see the smiles like these on the faces of children that are dripping with clean water for the first time?

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