As I continue to read and think about Black Friday, that’s really what it’s all about right, getting into the black? Stores and retailers want to be in the “black” at the end of the year and so they are going to do whatever it takes to get people online or into their stores. The strategy seems to be working because this year a record number turned out or clicked on to shop. According to Fox News there were 226 million shoppers in stores and online. (Fox News). This number was 14 million more than last year! Shoppers spent an average of $43 more this year too. Hmm? So is Black Friday about saving money?Or just buying more stuff with the money we “save”. Shoppers spent over 11 billion on Black Friday which was over a billion more than last year! Holy Christmas! The expected revenue for Christmas this year could be in excess of 460 billion! So I have to ask: are we really hurting financially?
I am not trying to “dis” on Christmas. I am all about sharing gifts and giving and showing love, etc. But as one who is barely surviving the “economic crisis”, I have to wonder who is really having a crisis? I know without a doubt there are many people who will have absolutely nothing to share with each other or loved ones on Christmas. I also know there are many who will give sacrificially so that others CAN have. My issue is really about all the consumerism that surrounds a “religious” holiday and all the talk of people being “poor” when they are really not!
How is it that we can be fine calling it “Christmas” and not want to have anything to do with Christ? How is it that we can give gifts to each other for Christmas and yet give nothing to Christ, whose birthday it is! How is it we can put ourselves into a black hole of debt to celebrate Black Friday and be content to pay for it all year long or longer and make no attempt to help our brother who is in dire need? Read Matthew 25:31-46
There is such a discrepancy between what we say is “poor” and what others around the world experience as “poor”. Parents in Africa’s Congo were not celebrating “Black Friday”, nor were the majority of the world, let alone the “poorest”. It really is amazing to think that the money we spent on Black Friday ALONE could have given basic clean water for ALL OF AFRICA AND ASIA( 11.6 Billion); the world’s poorest and most needy! I have to be a voice of reason here having been in parts of Africa digging wells by hand for people to have this very precious water! But even beyond that, can’t anyone else see, especially we Christians, that Consumerism is the latest post-modern religion? If not the latest religion it’s certainly the latest virus that many seem to be suffering from and a leading cause to why countless others who don’t have it suffer too!
Christmas is a time set aside to worship the Christ child. Sure, I can see where the gift giving comes from with the Wisemen and even birthday celebrations. Yet our focus has shifted drastically to worship of stuff not worship of a “Savior”. The Wisemen brought gifts to the King, The Savior, to Jesus Christ. Many of us bring gifts to friends, relatives, loved ones, and even ourselves, completely neglecting doing anything for Jesus or in his name! We have bowed down to the worship of self and the extreme worship of stuff! We really have to become radical in our thinking, living, spending and saving.(Perhaps calling it “investing” would be better). Regardless of all other necessary changes it really is time for us to say bye-buys!