What is Advent?

Advent is a time to reflect on the coming of Jesus. Many Christians think that Christmas is just about his first coming, at Christmas time but Advent is also a focus on his second coming. It is a time of reflection on the situation of the Church as located between the first and second comings of Jesus and we live in the light of both.

What to expect

Each devotion will contain:  

  • Biblical passage  

  • Reflection  

  • Prayer 

  • Questions to reflect on

During the month you’ll receive emails that contain either a thought, question, quote, or bible verse to contemplate or an action point to consider. You’ll also see these on Tearfund’s Instagram. 

​Consumption and Consumerism

What does it mean to be faithful to Jesus in the light of his first and second coming? 

In these Advent reflections, we want to begin a conversation around consumption and consumerism and how these relate to following Jesus. This significant topic affects our relationships with God, with others, the environment and even ourselves. It is vital that we reflect on them. 

Anthropologist Daniel Miller writes, “While production creates the world, consumption is the act whereby we use it up.” While it is good to consume, and we cannot survive without consumption, excessive consumption (i.e., consumerism) can be detrimental. We all recognise that there are both healthy and unhealthy, wise and foolish, ways to consume. However, there is also a temptation in discussions of consumerism to focus on the negative. 

While this is an important element to reflect upon, this is too often done at the expense of neglecting the positive dimensions of consumerism. So the question for us is, what does the Christian faith to contribute to our understanding of how we should consume? Each individual’s act of consumption has broad impacts — on the freedom and just treatment of labourers, on societal flourishing and on the condition and future of God’s creation. 

In these reflections, we do not want to be prescriptive but rather to give us a framework for asking questions about our consumption that will help us as we seek to be faithful to Jesus. All humans live in the tension of consuming wisely, and merely practicing a detrimental kind of consumerism.  

Join us in reflecting on these important issues.  

Sean du Toit

Advent Reflection 2019 Series 

One: Consumption and Jesus

Consumption and Jesus

Two: Consumption and Our Neighbours