Today is "Black Friday". The day when all of your area stores will offer deals on merchandise that is hard to resist.
It has become known as the "kickoff" of the Christmas season.
What a way to start Christmas, huh?
Talk about jumping off on the wrong foot.
I participated once many years ago.
Once. That's all it took.
I witnessed the behavior of people transformed by greed treating each other rudely, literally bordering upon physical confrontation, all for the almighty "deal".
What is the old, now politically incorrect term again? Oh yeah, Merry Christmas.
Not me. I made up my mind after being horrified by the rampant, even violent commercialization of Christmas, that I would never subject myself to that again.
The exchange rate is too high. I don't care how much of a deal I might think I'm getting. It doesn't balance out with feeding the beast of "faux X-mas".
Of course it's not just the one day. It's the entire season commencing with "Christmas light" which we celebrated yesterday.
I think the word "consumer" has taken on an entirely different connotation.
Who (or what) is consuming who?
I conjure up a vision of approaching two people having a hairpulling contest over the last Transformer toy on the shelf, and calmly asking, "So, what does Christmas mean to you?".
Or maybe stand at the business end of a very long checkout line, reading the faces of frustration and shouting out, "Everybody who is born-again raise your hands!".
Even though yesterday is a secular national holiday, it is good to use the premise of thankfulness to launch us off into the next phase.
Christmas. Not "X-mas", not "Happy Holidays". It's Christmas.
It means something real.
The incarnate Son of God has taken His place in the human race to introduce us to the Kingdom of God.
It would proceed on to the real "Black Friday", and which would culminate with the glory of the Christ we have become familiar with in our life as His disciples.
Be strong out there today my friends. Particularly those of you who have developed a "strategy". Hold onto your soul. Don't exchange what is precious for a deal.
Luke 2:14 - "Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]."
Be at peace. Be of good will. Be mindful of His glory today.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><