Project “They have evicted Jesus”
Founded in 1997, this gen4 project goes far beyond the literal meaning of the words: it is not letting oneself be conditioned by consumerism, bringing values back to the center. The idea came from a reflection by Chiara Lubich, who was in Switzerland in the period before Christmas.
Walking through the illuminated streets of a big city, Lubich is struck by the lights, the graceful decorations, by so much wealth, but above all, by the absence of reference to the meaning of the first Christmas. And so she writes:
“Incredulity and then almost rebellion: this rich world has” taken “Christmas” and all its surroundings, and has dislodged Jesus! (…) The world focus on Christmas for the best earnings of the year. But they do not think about Jesus. “He came among his own and they did not receive him” “There was no room for him in the hotel” … not even at Christmas. “(C.Lubich, in L.Velardi, They left Jesus out, New Town, Rome, 2005, p .5)
Since 1997, thousands of gen4 throughout the world have accepted Chiara’s invitation to bring Jesus back at the center of Christmas.
Together with parents, friends and other members of the Movement, , they offer people plaster figures of the Child Jesus or nativity scenes of all kinds elaborated by themselves, in the streets and squares, in the markets, at local institutions, in schools together with the writing by Chiara Lubich entitled “They have dislodged Jesus”
Welcome and gift
“Do not dislodge Jesus” also means “welcoming Him” in all those who may be most in need. Because of this, this project “They have dislodged Jesus” has inherent in itself the dimension of the “gift”, of the awareness of the other: every year the gen4 think of initiatives in favor of their peers that in some parts of the world, like the Child Jesus , they lack the necessary; the people who receive the “Little Baby” often spontaneously donate an offering for the proposed purposes.
Over the years then the values that are inherent in this initiative (welcoming the other, bringing joy, being a gift) have found many other expressions that can be lived with all those who share the “Golden Rule”: sharing the toys with children who do not have them, go and give joy to an elderly center, donate drawings, a smile to lonely people …