Scott Hodge


Advent Conspiracy

Dec 1, 2007


This weekend, we are beginning a new series at The Orchard entitled, "Advent Conspiracy."  Actually, this is a lot more than just a "series" – I guess you could call it an Advent "journey" that our church community is taking between now and Christmas that involves three things:

  1. Resisting the pace – We’re asking everyone to be intentional about resisting the consumeristic "craze" that happens every year at this time by hitting the PAUSE button and slowing down so that our hearts can really stay focused on what’s most important this time of year. 
  2. Relational Gift Giving – This year, instead of running out and buying gifts that we’re excited about for a few weeks, we’re encouraging people to focus part of their gift giving on giving relational based gifts.  These are gifts that are created from the heart – anything from time spent with one another doing something as a family or something created artistically for someone special in our lives.  As we give relationally, we are reflecting the ultimate in relational gift giving – God’s gift to this earth, Jesus. 
  3. Redistribution – With the money saved by giving relationally, we are going to give our church community an opportunity to redistribute it glocally.  Half will go to a clean water project around the world and the other half will go to providing food, clothing and other essentials to people in need right here in our city. 

Advent Conspiracy was an idea started last year by Rick McKinley from the Imago Dei Community in Portland.  After hearing Rick talk about it a few months ago it really resonated with several conversations that my wife and I were having about how we could work at intentionally simplifying the Christmas season and staying focused on worshiping Jesus and fully experiencing Advent as a family. 

Here is a video that we put together that tells more about it:

9 Responses to “Advent Conspiracy”

  1. Chilly says:

    great focus, well done video, excellent message.
    thanks for including the blog-world in your life & ministry.

  2. Ben Hammond says:

    I just discovered what was… defnitely NOT this site.

  3. John Jackson says:

    Looks awesome! We’re doing an “Imagine Christmas” take-off from Willow’s stuff. Are you “open source” on this for future use?

  4. Rosa Say says:

    This is fabulous Scott. “Relational gift giving” is just the phrase I have been looking for in my personal commitment this season, and I love how you are involving your Orchard Community: Once again, you are an inspiration.
    Your video is very well done.

  5. Scott, that’s a great video, hope it goes really well.

  6. Rindy says:

    “relational gift giving” is exactly what we’re doing this year (my 3 teen sons and me)…it goes right along with being better stewards, simplifying, cleaning out, and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas!! Great ideas!

  7. Joni says:

    Awesome. Great message this morning too. Since the year the grandparents filled our Expedition with Christmas presents for the kids(I’m not kidding, we almost had to ship some things), we asked them to downsize. In the past we figured Jesus got 3 gifts, why do we get more? But this year I’ve been very tempted to splurge. The video and series are bringing me back to our reality.

  8. Ted says:

    i know for kat and i, we’ve decided, since george was born, to give one gift to one another for christmas, and give more to others (ie: those in need or family)… we want to “model the way” to george what this time of year is about. in gist, fighting the consumeristic animal can be a challenge, so we thought, lets start young!!!

  9. Lori Bailey says:

    Don’t know if you’ve come across this story yet in your Advent journey, but I found it a couple of years ago through an obscure link and loved it:
    …the first advent wreaths were pine boughs woven around wagon wheels. Back in the old days, people would slow down when the days got this short and cold. They would take time off from traveling and working and move indoors, waiting expectantly for Christmas and the winter solstice to approach. Families would remove a wheel from their wagon, bring it inside, and use it as a frame for their advent wreath. This wheel was not only a beautiful decoration, but a powerful symbol of sacrifice….Imagine what it would mean for us in this day and age to pull the tires off our cars, bicycles, trucks and airplanes, sacrificing all the important work we feel we need to get out and do, and instead sit quietly at home preparing our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s first coming. How much more would we feel the spiritual power and symbolism of Christmas?

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