December 1, 2008
"How can we take a consumer event like a busy shopping day and use it to show how Christians are supposed to live differently? "By not participating in it.I'm sorry for sounding flip, but that's the entire answer from my point of view.
How about we attempt to make it the single day of the year when the MOST money is given to charity, putting that treasure where our hearts are supposed to be.
I think that the most important thing for us to do is to remember the real reason why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Gifts are ok, but if it causes us to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas, then are hearts are not in the right place to begin with.
I'd agree with jvjannotti that not participating is a good option. I don't go out on Friday.But I guess my point is, Christians are out an about shopping. Are we running, pushing and shoving like everyone else? Or are we calmly walking with a smile on our face and cart that's not overflowing with stuff. I think we can send messages to other people in the way we act. I agree with Whitt, too. If our hearts are in the right place, gifts aren't a bad thing. I think if we act differently in the parking lots and in the stores we can show that Christmas can be a time of joy and giving without over consuming.
My husband's family (lots of sisters) get up on "Black Friday" and hit the malls. It's pretty much a tradition. I, on the other hand, hate both mornings and crowds and am rarely seen in the vicinity of a mall on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I guess I can drool over a pretty new toy as readily as the next person but the whole idea of placing a greater value on a THING than on a PERSON is repulsive to me. There's just no way I can imagine voluntarily joining in with a pushing, shoving crowd...and if I had been there by some accident, I would have stopped to help the fallen, though I doubt I'd make any list of saints 'cause I'd have had a few choice words for the people who mowed him over!
I don't get how finding discounts at stores is supposed to translate into some kind of immorality that Christians should be up in arms about. If you buy yourself a boat in June, nobody lectures you. If you splurge on some marked down electronics at Christmas though, moralizing Christians can't stop themselves from flipping out at you. "OH MY G- DON'T BUY THAT DON'T YOU KNOW JESUS IS WATCHING!!!" Who cares? Living differently isn't in the decision to buy or not to buy a new TV; survey data shows we spend about a month trying to muster sympathy for the poor and jostling each other about it, and then we spend the rest of the year being ourselves anyways. Christmas happens every year, and it belongs to discounts and family time, not to Jesus. It's just a holiday, people. Having fun with it is not going to change you. Just enjoy yourselves. If you want to devote your life to fighting the tide of consumerism, do that. But don't pretend to be doing it for Jesus just because it's Christmastime and everybody else is buying gifts for their friends and family and that puts you off for some reason.
It is a said day when we literally step on people to get what we want. We need to show the world that this attitude will not be accepted in society and state to this world that Chrismas is not hypocritical and that we as Christians do care more about our fellow man then what we posses. I suggest we plant the seed and set aside a day of remembrance in honor of those like Mr. Damour who cannot afford to take the day off after Thanksgiving and go shopping.Please don't misunderstand me I am very aware that are individuals who share their love through giving, I myself enjoy giving as much as any other father. I also understand that there are individuals that cannot afford to buy all they need to share their gift of giving so shopping at sales is a necessity. However if we truly want to share our gift of giving why not show others how to give unselfishly without conditions.We should establish a day of remembrance and refuse to shop, say November 27th 2009, or any other Black-Friday, and reflect on the previous day and give a gift of true sacrifice. Just think how we as Christians would be better off if we set aside our time, money, and personal desires and share the true love of Christ?I know this will take some honest prayers but if is a true sacrifice it will go a long way towards brining forth a God centered Christmas.
Are we talking about the man who died as a result of shoppers knocking him down and then walking over him? Or, are we talking about getting a good discount at a local store the day after Thanksgiving? Let us remember the man who died in that stampeed with prayer, as he was something special to family and friends as we all wish we are. Let us not forget that his family will have a loss, which will take time to heal. Let us pray for we know our Father in heaven sent his angles to gather Mr Damour for his trip home. Not for one second should we worry about that day as it has past, but remember his life as that of one where we can show others as Christians we will do what is good for all. In God's Grace John
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