19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (ESV)
This past Friday was “Black Friday”. For those not in the know, “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States that officially opens the Christmas shopping season. It has been my tradition over the last few years to go out with my brother and experience this shopping phenomena. An added bonus this year was that my sister Chelle was in town so she was able to join us in the festivities.
This year we headed out right at midnight and hit the stores that started their sales early. Walmart was really the only store open but there were two of them near my house so we hit them both. We only managed to kill and hour or so there so we were left with a decent gap of time before the next store we hit. We mostly drove around from 2am to 4am. We passed several stores who had lines outside their doors. We passed 2 Targets that had lines that reached around their building. I think I forgot to mention that it was in the low 40s and sleeting most of the morning, yet there were folks lined up outside everywhere.
All in all we hit about 6 stores and a restaurant and got home around 10am. It was a blast staying up all night with my brother and sister riding around town and being apart of the madness that is “Black Friday”. I didn’t buy much, but the experience always reminds me of the what I like most about the holidays. I like “Black Friday” because I get to hang out with my brother, and this year my sister. I like it when we get home tired and exhausted and we get to tell the stories of the great adventure we just had.
Sadly, there was not a lot of Jesus being talked about on “Black Friday”. The local Christian store did get into the spirit of the day by opening early and selling some “Jesus” stuff at a discount, but it wasn’t all that worshipful of an experience to wait in the line there either. Every line I was in and every line I saw I wondered if I or other folks would wait like this to get into church on Sunday, or would we wait in line like this to pay to feed the hungry or donate to the poor. As I watched people fill up carts and jockey for position to make sure they got one of the limited quantity items I could not escape the warning of Jesus listed above in Matthew 6. It hit me like a ton of bricks as considered the fact that everything that was being so highly coveted for purchase in the chaos of “Black Friday” would eventually wear-out or break or lose its luster in the eye of its owner. I don’t even remember what last year’s “Black Friday’s” hot items were for example.
The first “Black Friday” was a good Friday. It was the day where Jesus gave His life as a ransom for the lives of all who submit to Him in faith for reconciliation to God and for sanctification that is the perfecting of their soles. I didn’t see this message in any of the “Black Friday” ads and sadly I didn’t tell any of the multitude I saw on Friday morning about the best deal in town. I let many folks know about the $5 DVDs at Walmart and the $199 xBox at Target, but the message of salvation I kept for myself.
I struggle with this.
Heavenly Father, thank you that as we start this gift giving season you have already given us the best gift. Thank you that in your love you gave your son as a payment for our sin debt. Thank you Lord Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross. Father help us not be voices muted by fear and circumstance. This time of year was set apart for us to be mindful of the gift you gave us but somehow we have lost our way. I pray that you would set our feet back on the right path. We offer you praise and honor! In Jesus name, Amen.