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Black Friday by Bob Wise
It's the day after Thanksgiving. It's called Black Friday because that is when most retail businesses finally go into the black for the year. They say the stores finally start to show a profit after Black Friday. Good business concept I suppose but, what has Black Friday accomplished to the masses who shop at these stores the day after Thanksgiving besides a day of spending more money than they should on items they more than likely would not purchase if it wasn't for the next Holiday coming up in a few short weeks.
There have been reports of people being trampled in the stampede to be the first into the store to get a bargain on a upcoming Christmas present. Fights have broken out over one shopper wanting an item that another shopper grabbed before they could. An opportunity to save a few dollars. Maybe even save as much as 100 dollars on that higher ticket item. I was talking to a lawyer friend who said a gentleman in court one day said he couldn't make payments on an extremely overdue bill because "Christmas" was coming and he needed the money to buy presents for his family. The lawyer was kind enough to let the payments go for a few months but explained to the gentleman that "Christmas" wasn't a proper defense in court.
The question I present is this. Is it really worth it to fight through the crowds and heavy traffic to save a little money? And, is it really what Thanksgiving is truly all about?
What has happened to Thanksgiving anyway? It used to be a time of giving thanks for all the things in your life that you are grateful for. A time to thank God for all His blessings. A time to get together with family to socialize with each other and consider what you have to be thankful for.
The Friday after Thanksgiving used to be a time when families would sit around the house and take a day of rest to enjoy each others company. Men would watch ballgames on TV or go hunting together or maybe just take it easy. Women would visit and enjoy each others company or maybe work on a small project together. It was a time of enjoyment, togetherness, love and relaxation.
Today...Friday after Thanksgiving is all about what? Spending money, shopping, running around like crazy people fighting each other over a gift they want to purchase. Taking no time for what Thanksgiving is all about. In today's society Thanksgiving is just another day to eat a lot of turkey, ham and other goodies in anticipation of hitting the stores tomorrow. A lot of people go so far as to go shopping on Thanksgiving afternoons. It seems that their only thoughts are of Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas.
It has been a really good promotional package that the Retail Industry has put together in getting people to not think of Thanksgiving but to have Christmas and shopping on their minds. And, the sad thing is people in today's society have even gone so far as to not think of Christmas as a time to remember and worship the Birth of Christ but have turned it into a time of gift giving to each other and unfortunately a time of falling away from who Christ is and was and into a time of selfishness and an unmanageable falling into the trappings of the world.
Black Friday in my opinion is just another ploy of the evil one Satan to draw attention away from what the upcoming Christmas holiday is supposed to be all about. When Satan can get a person to direct their attention on something other than Christ, he has accomplished what he started out to do.
Another way Satan has infected society in these times is by instilling in the minds of people that Christmas is all about giving presents to each other. Parents will spend their hard earned money on "Christmas" presents for their children because they think that the children deserve them. By and large there is nothing wrong with buying your child a present once in a while. Buying your child a present is a way of expressing your love for them so nothing is wrong with that, but, when parents buy nothing of significant value for their children the rest of the year why do they think they have to overspend at Christmas time. Is it guilt? Is it to show off to their family and friends how much they spent on little Johnny or little Mary. I have always questioned why people think they need to spend so much at Christmas time.
As a Christian, I know that we celebrate on December 25 as the day of Jesus being born. December 25th isn't the actual date of His birth but is one picked years ago as the day to celebrate his birth and we have done so every since. The problem now though is that "Christmas" has lost it's meaning.
Back to Black Friday....I would suggest that not only has Black Friday become more important than Thanksgiving Day itself but also has attributed to the demise of people losing their sense of direction concerning Jesus and His birth celebration. Appropriately named in my opinion is Black Friday. Black because it denotes darkness instead of light. Satan instead of Christ. Worship of ourselves instead of Worship for the King of Kings.
Call me a fuddy dud or an old fashioned church person but when we as Christians allow ourselves to get caught up in all the hoopla of shopping, spending money, and giving no thanks or taking no time to honor the One who gave His all for us.....we are as bad as the ones who never knew Jesus in the first place.
Black Friday.....what might God be thinking about all of this. Does His heart break to realize that His children has strayed so far away from Him that they cannot even take a time to give thanks to those who founded our great nation and cannot take a few days to thank and remember the one who created not only the beautiful earth in which we live but created all of us as humans who were created in the first place to Worship Him. We have become such a selfish society. Every one is looking inward towards themselves instead of looking outward towards the One who gave them life and gave it to them abundantly.
It is a scary thought when one takes the time to really think about what society has become over the years. Where are we heading? What will life be like in the next 10 or 20 years if the path we are on continues as it is? Will we be by-passing Thanksgiving completely so we can just go straight on to the "Christmas" season? It always amazes me how many Christians will sign petitions to try and pressure stores to use the "Merry Christmas" message instead of "Happy Holidays" yet at the same time are a just as big a part of the problem as everyone else. IF we truly want "Christ" back in Christmas, then do so. Make a decision to forego all the trappings of the holiday season and take time to Worship Jesus as we should. Maybe, just maybe, God will begin turning His Face towards us again.