When I think of Christmas in America, I think of stressful shopping days, to-do lists, and debt piling high to pay for gifts. At the heart of our consumer-driven empire lies a message: how much we love is measured by how much money we’re willing to spend.
The revolution begins with Christ. Let’s proclaim freedom from this picture of Christmas, and explore what it means to approach Christ and anticipate his coming during this season called Advent. The Gospel tells us God so loved the world that He gave his only Son. Our generous God gave relationally: gave us His presence.
Now we emulate this by re-envisioning how we give at Christmas – replacing expensive material gifts with presents and activities that involve spending quality that involve spending quality time together. While taking our kids go-karting or preparing a special meal for a friend may still cost some money, it emphasizes relationship.
Every year the money we would have spent on gifts, we give to those who are hurting in our city and around the world. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of sharing our resources with Vietnamese and Cambodian parters who are transforming communities – caring for those with HIV and providing clean water and education.
In Portland, we’ve been able to help fight sex trafficking, serve refugees in our city, give hope to women recovering from domestic violence and provide support for children in foster care and their families.
What drives us is the desire to worship. All this starts and ends with Jesus. We invite you to join us for the Advent of a Generous Revolution as we celebrate the coming of our King.
-Joshua Ryan Butler (Pastor of Local & Global Outreach)