It has already happened.
Even before Halloween was over this year, the stores put up all of the Christmas decorations, seemingly skipping Thanksgiving. Now I'm no Scrooge, I love Christmas! However, hopefully, you'll notice the irony of this week--the week of Thanksgiving. We move from people posting everything that they're thankful for on Facebook to sitting around the table counting our blessings to six shifting gears twelve hours later, directing our hearts to more excess with Black Friday craziness. Oh, how divided our hearts can be! This year we're going to have to fight that consumerism in our hearts with greater fervor. It seems every year it becomes more and more difficult to wage war against the spell of new trinkets, toys, and treasures. Like a ten-year-old, we drift back into the thought that our lives will be forever changed by the latest "it" thing. The stuff of this years Christmas will be the stuff of garage sales in years to come. It is easier, however, to fight this mindset within a community of like-minded folks. I'm praying that we can wage that war together as brothers and sisters, fighting by faith for Christ this season.
One of the ways that we can take up arms together is through giving to others. We take the posture of Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9) who became poor for us so that we can be motivated to exhibit the God who not only gave, but the God who is with.
so we are able to give as we are enraptured by His generosity to His children.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we might become children of God (1 John 3:1).
God, through the birth of Christ, is with us.
Jesus is Immanuel. As a result of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, He is not only with us, but in us through the Spirit of Christ (Ephesians 3:17). We have the opportunity to be with our faith family, biological family and community this Christmas.
theGATHERING will be partnering with 6stones in order to both GIVE and be WITH 12,000 families this Christmas. Yes, that is a large number. More significant, however, is that group of two or three kids that you get to hang with at a Christmas Party or that family you have the opportunity to bless both with the gospel and a little love. There are a few ways that you can participate;
You, your friends or your co-workers can give to a child this Christmas. To adopt a child, go here and follow the guidelines. The recommended total is $35 to $50 per child. Time is of the essence on this one, the last day to drop off gifts at Campus West is Saturday, December 1! Maybe your Connection Small Group wants to go in together and adopt a boy and a girl, maybe you want to tell your family to use money they were going to spend on you to go towards a couple of kids, or how about getting your workplace in on the action and see how many kids you can adopt!!!
In addition to adopting a kiddo, we have another great oppotunity to go back to Stonegate Elementary and be with some kiddos. On Wednesday, December 12 you can join this kicking party as we join in one of the Night of Wonder Parties. We'll not only hand out the gifts to the kiddo's parents, but we're able to join in and tell the Luke 2 account of Jesus' birth. Doing crafts with the kiddos and talking with the parents is always a push for us to continue being involved in the lives of those in our community. If you'd like to get on the action this year, fill out this form with 6stones. We'll be going to Stonegate, so make sure to click that box when you register. It starts at 6:00, but we'll need to be at Stonegate a little earlier in order to set everything up.
With both of these opportunities, the mission is for us to move from an event mentality to a lifestyle. Our prayer is that this will be a jump start to living on mission with Jesus as a gospel-centered missionary in our cities.
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. John 17:18