Not your usual Advent calendar: #LightTheWorld with kindness to others

For the western Christian churches, Advent is the time of year when people expectantly await and prepare for the celebration of Christmas. One popular way to mark Advent is by using an Advent calendar. Each day has a little door and depending on the calendar, opening it might reveal be a poem, Biblical verse, prayer, or in some cases a small toy or candy. While Advent technically begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, it’s common for Advent calendars to start on December 1st. One church has taken the idea of the Advent calendar but instead of an indulgent treat each day, there’s a call for service.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as the Mormon church) had its first “#LightTheWorld” campaign in 2016. It was a huge success, with people posting on social media about acts of kindness, service, and giving. They’re doing it again this year, calling on everyone to “be a bright light to those around us and a shining example of Christlike love.”

“Opportunities to shine surround us each day,” says Thomas S. Monson, head of the Mormon church. “As we follow the example of the Savior, ours will be the opportunity to be a light in the lives of others, whether they be our own family members and friends, our co-workers, mere acquaintances, or total strangers.”

For this year’s #LightTheWorld campaign, the theme is “25 ways, 25 days.” For each day from December 1st through the 25th, there’s a call to service based on a Biblical teaching. The church is also posting a video for each day. Below, we’ve posted the one for December 4th: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

How do you light the world, whether during the holiday season or all year ’round? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments at Facebook. Don’t forget to like and share!