Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Upside-Down Christmas

You may be wondering why my profile picture is an upside-down Christmas tree.  No, I'm not a fir tree.  It is because I'm committed to living an Upside-Down Christmas this season.........
This past Sunday was Orphan Sunday.  A day to recognize, acknowledge, pray for and reach out to the world’s 145 million orphans.  “Orphan Sunday isn’t just a cause. It’s about the blaze Christians create as they see and reflect God’s heart for the fatherless. When we live out what James calls ‘pure religion’ through adoption, foster care and global orphan initiatives, the world sees the Gospel made visible like nothing else.” – Christian Alliance for Orphans President, Jedd Medefind.  Today will you pray and ask God to give you His heart for the fatherless.
In the 50 days leading up to Christmas, Americans will spend $ 450-500 BILLION on Christmas. That’s $450,000,000,000 on toys, clothes, food, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, decorations, more decorations, trees and so much more.  None of it life sustaining.  Most of it empty.  Can you just imagine the impact just 10% of that would have, if done in the name of Jesus, for 145 million orphans who have no hope?
As Christians we are members of God’s kingdom.  We were orphans.  We are now adopted.  God’s kingdom is an upside-down kingdom in comparison to the world’s system.  In God’s kingdom the humble, the meek, the merciful, the peacemaker, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – these will be blessed beyond measure.  The ones who love their enemies, offer mercy to the poor and oppressed and fatherless, the least of these – these will be great in this kingdom called heaven.  This language is foreign to the ears of the world.
The world says “me, mine, best, better, more, now”.  In God’s kingdom “me” is crucified, “best” and “better” is later, and “more” only comes when what we’ve been given is graced to those who have not.
We, as a small group of the Lord’s army, cannot change how all of Canada, or America, spends its money at Christmas.  But we can prayerfully and deliberately change how we, ourselves, you and me, prepare for, spend on and celebrate Christmas.  In the upside-down kingdom, Christmas is about the celebration and remembrance of the babe in a manger. Son of God born humble and lowly, with one purpose: to save us from our sin. 
So go ahead. 
That will look different for each one of us, and will include toys, clothes, food, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, decorations, and trees, but maybe it could mean just not so much of it all.  
And then, share.  Will you consider how you can share with someone this Christmas?
Will you commit to reduce your Christmas spending on “stuff” by 10% this year and give that 10% away?  Maybe to an orphan; and make all the difference in the world to just one life.  An upside-down gift that is life-sustaining; full not empty; eternal not temporal. 

Be Upside-down this Christmas
Spend 10% less this Christmas and give it away
Make an eternal difference this Christmas
Watch what the Lord does with it
I'm standing on my head this Christmas.  Will you join me?

If you would like to share your ideas on how you are cutting back and simplifying Christmas, I'd love to hear about them so please pass them on in the Comment section below.  Save money, save frustration, save time.  Just remember to track how much money you have saved, and give it away.  To someone.  In the name of Jesus.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  Mal. 3:10


At 10 December 2011 at 03:02 , Blogger Christine said...

Tracking with you! Here is what we do...



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