AlterNATIVITY - our Advent theme for 2014

By Press Office
December 3, 2014

This year Ekklesia has, for the first time, developed an Advent Calendar, in partnership with our colleagues at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London – which has a long history of social engagement, as well as work with homeless people and others excluded from the Feast of Life to which Christmas points.

You can find the calendar here: http://christmas.org.uk/docs/calendar/index.html The first six days are ready to view. Each offers a reading, a reflection and an action.

We are thinking and acting every day towards an alternative way of celebrating the nativity (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21096).

What is being born for us through Jesus? What difference does ‘the nativity’ make in a world of joy and celebration, yes – but also one of suffering, greed, injustice and violence?

To put it another way: where’s the alter nativity beyond the rush and pressure of a modern Christmas?

That was a question asked a few years ago by a group of Christians who wanted to do two things. First, to understand Christmas better and simplify it. Second, to show how the birth of Jesus turns our personal and social worlds upside-down.

‘We seek to empower people to make choices which are fun, challenge the pressures of commercialisation, avoid the trap of debt, and improve the quality of life for all, especially for the poorest,’ they declared.

You can find out more about their continuing work with churches and communities through this website (http://www.alternativity.org.uk) and on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JustGodSimplyChristmas).

Our world needs alter nativity! We are always being told that ‘there is no alternative’. Christmas tells us that this is not true. It also tells us that it’s not easy.

The Christian gospel is all about how the power of love shown in Christ can overcome the love of power that often spoils our world. God’s alternative in Jesus is not the privilege of princes, but power to paupers. It starts not in a palace but with a stable.

The gospel can begin to change us through the smallest gestures of neighbourliness and kindness. But it can also embrace world-changing events, as seen in the likes of Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Desmond Tutu.

This year Christmas.org.uk, in partnership with Ekklesia, will be enabling you to taste, pray and act for a bit of alternativity – to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in a way that brings change and happiness to more and more people. Wherever they (and you!) are.

* The AlterNATIVITY Advent Calendar: http://christmas.org.uk/docs/calendar/index.html

* Advent: God's alternative agenda: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21096

* More on Advent from Ekklesia here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/advent

* More on Bloomsbury Baptist Church here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/bloomsburybaptistchurch

* Visit the ALTERnativity website: http://www.alternativity.org.uk

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.