rethinking-christmas-logo.jpgRETHINKING CHRISTMAS

What is it?
Rethinking Christmas is a resource to help us put back into perspective what the true meaning of Christmas is by worshipping Jesus through compassion not consumption.

Christ tends to get overlooked at Christmas. Let’s be honest. December comes and you think, “ok this will be the year”. This time you swear you will slow down and take it all in. Make the most with family. Help the needy. Zero in on what it really means to be a Christ follower during this Holiday Season.

What if we could Christ back as the true meaning of the season and not get caught up in all the commercialism of Christmas?

Worship More.
Spend Less.
Give More.
Love All.

Worship More.

The central theme of Rethinking Christmas is that Jesus is worshipped in such a way that his followers experience the power of Christ coming into the world.
This powerful story brings with it the promise of transformation in his followers as they celebrate His birth with faithfulness and integrity.
People being led in this journey will not be competing with the consumerist impulses of our culture but instead be aligning themselves with Christ, thereby worshipping him in a holistic way.

Spend Less.

When Christ was born the empire was threatened and as a result Herod, who was one of the more powerful kings of the day, ordered the killing of all the boys two years old and under who were in Bethlehem. The reason for this was that he hoped to take out the child-King that posed a threat to his kingdom.
While we are not living under Herod’s reign, there is another empire of consumerism and materialism that threatens our faithfulness to Jesus. Jesus brought with him such an extraordinary Kingdom that is counter-culture to the kingdoms of this world.
Part of saying “yes” to Jesus means that we say “no” to over-spending. We say “no” to over consumption. We say “no” to these things so we can create space to say “yes” to Jesus and His reign in our lives. The National Retail Federation was forecasting that Americans would spend approximately $457.4 billion at Christmas in 2006. The American Research group estimated an average of $907.00 per family to be spent at Christmas in 2006.After the Holiday we work for months to get out of debt, only to find that the presents we bought in the name of Christ furthered a consumerist mentality in us and our children and took our focus off of the greatness of Jesus. As Christ-followers, the Rethinking Christmas starts with us resisting a culture that tells us what to buy, wear and spend with no regard to bringing glory to Jesus.

Give More.

In saying “no” to over-spending we are then invited to say “yes” to give in relational ways. We do this because we worship a God who gave us a relational gift. God gave us His son. This is an incredible opportunity to reclaim the heart of what matters most as we learn together to give gifts of meaning instead of simple material gifts.
Pictures, poems, pieces of art, a baseball bat and a trip with dad to the ballpark, all become relational alternatives that foster what matters most in life.
In thinking in a new way about what it means to give ourselves to each other, we are transformed by the story of Advent, knowing that we give relationally because God gave relationally.
Some organizations have done do-it-yourself workshops to help their people learn the art of relational giving. Whatever you decide to do, the key is that you spend less and give relationally of yourself.
Love More.
Christ, though He was rich, became poor to make many rich. It was in the Advent that Jesus entered our poverty so we would no longer be poor. With the money we save by giving relationally and resisting the empire we, in turn, re-distribute the money we saved to the least of these in our communities and the world. Through this kind of radical giving we are transformed by the Advent story as we worship Jesus more faithfully.

3 Ways to Give:
Here are 3 ways at CrossRoads we want to redistribute our money to help make a radial, practical difference in the world. These are just suggestions… maybe there is another way in which God wants you to sacrifice and give to.

1. Living Waters International</strong
According to the World Water Council, 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water; 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation. 1.8 million People die every year from diarrhea diseases and 3,900 children die every day from water born diseases.
For communities in need, clean water means life. Over a billion people are searching for water, and are forced to find it in rivers, streams, swamps and mud holes. This effects every other part of life – such as health, education, economic development. Living Water International believes that clean water empowers communities to develop in all of these other areas. It is that first step on a ladder out of extreme poverty. Living Water sees it as a response to the gospel, believing there is something sacred about providing a cup of water in the name of Jesus.
More info at: http://www.water.cc
OUR GOAL: $500: a mid grade well and water pump for an area with no clean water

2. ONE VERSE

OneVerse is a program of The Seed Company that enables you to connect with Bibleless people groups around the world through sacrificially praying and giving to God’s work of Bible translation. An estimated 272 million people representing 2,500 language groups are still waiting to hear God’s Word in a language that they can understand. OneVerse provides you with a dynamic opportunity to support national speakers as they translate the Bible for their people.

For Rethinking Christmas we are going to adopt the Jomana people in Southeast Asia. For $25 it will pay for the cost to translate on verse into the native language of the Jomana people. What a great gift to give this Christmas, give the word of God to a people who have never experienced God’s Word for themselves.

OUR GOAL: $375: will pay for the translation of 15 verses for the Jomana People of Southeast Asia

3. Kerus Orphan Care Center

In South Africa alone there are an estimated 2 million orphans. These precious children left behind deal with the trauma of taking care of their dying parents and attending their funerals. Many of the children have no one to watch over them and end up turning to prostitution or other crimes simply to survive. The hope is to provide a place where kids can be safe and learn life skills to help them to have hope for a future. The Orphan Care Center hopes to assist AIDS Orphans, providing Home based care, garden projects, and job training.

OUR GOAL: $420; provide the cost for 10 kids to attend the orphanage for a month.

Please be in prayer as to how the Lord would lead you to consider others this Christmas.