It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the turkey and the stuffing, for the cranberries and the sweet sweet sweet potato casserole. It’s when families travel from afar to gather and celebrate and thank God for the many fine things we have: our health and wealth, our families, and, most importantly, our savior. When you take it for what it is it’s a beautiful thing, really. Unfortunately our sense of thankfulness has dwindled throughout the years, and like Christmas it has morphed, from a simple day with a large meal and fellowship, into the starting gate for that unique spectacle that is Black Friday.
Someone said it better than I, but it’s sad that the day after a holiday whose sole purpose is for us to be thankful for what we have, we act like animals in order to get the best deals possible. We camp out for weeks, forgoing the familial fellowship. We bite and claw and shove people out of the way. We trample people to death for an opportunity to buy a $19.99 Blu Ray player. We’ve taken what was supposed to be a day of humble thankfulness and bastardized it into being nothing but window dressing for a consumer-driven gladiatorial game. And yet the culture warriors are silent when it comes to “The War on Thanksgiving.” I wonder why that is.
I can’t say I’m not guilty. After getting off work in the morning, I’ve stopped by the mall to see what deals I could pick up. I’ve visited Best Buy to pick up a cheap thumb drive and to search through their picked over movie selections. Just this week I considered planning on going to Guitar Center in hopes of picking up a small tube amp for half price. Then I realized I really didn’t need one.
We in the Church, the 78.4% of Americans who claim to be Christian, should step back and ask ourselves why it is we react in such a way. When we follow a Christ who demands our everything, why do we respond so blatantly and curtly with a resounding “no?”
Why does our giving not overshadow our thanking? It makes me wonder what would happen if rather than celebrating Black Friday, the 78.4% of Christ-following Americans would take that day to go out into the streets and meet the needs of others, showing them the love of Jesus in practical ways. I wonder what our communities and congregations would look like if all of a sudden everyone acted as if we believed Jesus meant what he said.
I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful. Be content. Be giving. To God be the glory.