Is it Black Friday?

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

What is the reason for calling today Black Friday? Wikipedia suggests that it has come down to the fact that retailers show a profit, thus they are in the bladk, not in the red. I saw on my twitter account where a pastor argued that the Friday before Easter was the real black Friday because the world was blackened when Jesus died on the cross. I think we see the result of the cross and call it “Good Friday.”

The reason for “Black Friday” is deals and shopping for Christmas. Christmas itself has become extremely controversial. What was supposed to be a celebration of the birth of the Christ child has become so commercialized that in many places it is even considered politically incorrect to say, “Merry Christmas”. So what do we do and how do we relate?

It is not likely that Jesus was born on December 25th. That was the date set by the Pope in the 4th century, if I remember my history correctly. Most scholars suggest it was more likely that Jesus was born in the spring, because shepherds were watching their sheep out in the fields. The Puritans abandoned the celebration of Christmas because it had become so commercialized in their day. Instead of “Yuletide” they spoke of “Fool’s tide”.

Honestly, I love the trappings of a traditional Christmas. A Christmas tree, stockings hung by the fireplace, Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas Caroling, White Christmas, Pecan pie; Never have cared for egg nog. I enjoy the idea of giving, and of family together. All that has accompanied it through the years. The smiles on children’s faces, a sense of wonder, all that has been positive.

Perhaps the Puritans were on to something we should explore. Maybe we should celebrate the birth of Jesus within the church at some other time. I am not suggesting surrender, but the reality is for most Christmas is not at all about what God has done. It has little to do with the Incarnation. It has little to do with a “Savior is born”. It is about many other things. It can be the joy of family, and love, and peace, or it can deteriorate into crass materialism. Either way, it is not much about Jesus.

I am not advocating much of anything in this article except a recognition of reality. Much like that first Christmas, whatever day of the year it was, there is little room for Jesus. No room in the inn. No room in our heart. No room in our celebration. The announcement of the angels was “We bring you Good News of a Great Joy.” That news had nothing to do with turning a profit in the retail world. That news had nothing to do with a “Black Friday.” That news was, “A Savior is Born.”

That is, by the way, what we need. If we got what we deserved, it would not be a black coal in our stocking for being naughty. It would be eternal separation from God because we are sinners. What God has provided, however, is not toys under a tree, but a baby born in a manger that would one day hang on a tree in payment for our sins, so that we might be saved.
God bless you as you ponder my ramblings.I hope they point you to Jesus.


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