Many of us have been planning and preparing for Thanksgiving dinner for the past few weeks and are already planning for the Christmas season. The flurry of events and activities that focus on fun and food often leave me unsettled and empty. Oh, we pray at the meals, but that seems more a token than anything else. So my thoughts at this time of the year tend to see how we can be more Christ Centered.
So I thought how we as a body could make Christ more central. Then I thought of a Conspiracy. A conspiracy is acting together in harmony toward a common end. So lets conspire together to make this holiday season more centered on Christ. Specifically, this season, let’s conspire to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All.
It starts with Jesus and it ends with Jesus. This season is not primarily about family, friends, and food. The holiday season is a yearly reminder on our calendars that we are called to put down our burdens and lift up a song of thanksgiving up to our God. Enter this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest. He is the reigning and coming King!
Americans spent a total of $28.5 billion on Thanksgiving alone last year, and 90% of that went toward food. According to the American Farm Bureau, the average cost of a Thanksgiving Day feast for 10 was $44.61 last year. That's cheap considering that includes turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and everything else. The rest of the money was spent on Thanksgiving decorations and other festive trimmings. But there is also the Thanksgiving travel. Many families spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on travel to visit their loved ones for Thanksgiving, the busiest travel holiday in North America. Christmas is much higher! It is probably too late to make changes to our Thanksgiving celebration but it is not too late to cut back on Christmas spending!
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that the holidays should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift the holiday season can offer and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found shopping. Turn off the television and spend quality time talking. Invite someone over for dinner or coffee who needs Jesus. Take time to bake really good cookies and give them to a neighbor or coworker. Take time to make love visible through relational giving.
When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less during the holiday season, we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. You don’t have to look across the world to see people in need, look across the street.