Advent Devotional Day 15 – Spend Less

Silence: Take a moment to get still and ask God to center your heart on him.

Scripture: 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Devotional: A few years ago I stumbled across a website called “Advent Conspiracy”. It’s a movement started by 5 pastors that wanted to reimagine how they practiced Christmas in their communities. Advent Conspiracy was born out of their conversation and dreaming.

Advent Conspiracy is built around 4 tenets and we looked at the first one yesterday, Worship Fully, which you can read here, but today we’ll look at the second tenet.

The second tenet is “Spend Less”.

This Christmas, Americans will spend 600 billion dollars! SIX HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS. Are you kidding me?

To put that into perspective, there are 663 million people who don’t have access to clean water. Do you know how much money it would take to get clean water to every person on the planet?

10 billion.

We could give every single person on the planet access to clean water if we spent a fraction, a fraction!, of what we spend for Christmas.

The Advent Conspiracy website describes it like this:

“Quick question for you: What was the one gift you remember getting for Christmas last year? Next question: What about the fourth gift? Do you remember that one? Truth is many of us don’t because it wasn’t something we necessarily wanted or needed. Spending Less isn’t a call to stop giving gifts; it’s a call to stop spending money on gifts we won’t remember in less than a year. America spends around $600 billion dollars during the Christmas season, and much of that it joyless and goes right onto a credit card. By spending wisely on gifts we free ourselves from the anxiety associated with debt so we can take in the season with a full heart.”

Jesus said that where our treasure is, our heart would be there as well. I wonder if we treasured loving Jesus and loving others, like Jesus calls us to do, if we would spend money differently or ask for different gifts?

If we treasured what we were supposed to treasure, I wonder if we would start buying gifts for our friends more meaningfully and thoughtfully than we usually do?

This Christmas, I wonder if we worshipped our Savior more than the season and spent less on things we don’t treasure, how our communities would be changed?

Let us show the world, through our gifts, that our greatest treasure is not here on earth, but in heaven where moth and rust won’t destroy.

Question: How could you show the world that you treasure Jesus and spend less but more meaningfully on gifts this year?

Action: Read this website for some ideas on how you can “spend less” this Christmas. Implement just one idea this Christmas and ease your way into it.

Prayer: Father, thank you for reminding us that Jesus is the greatest treasure. Help us to fight against thinking that treasures on the earth will satisfy, when in reality, all of them will just rust. You alone can satisfy. Teach us to be more mindful of our gifts we buy and ask for this Christmas. I pray that I can show the world that you are my greatest treasure. Amen.

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