Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Fridays and Blue Christmases

My wife and I did not get caught up in the “Black Friday” craziness this year. We did get “amongst ‘em” a bit later in the day, just for a glimpse of the aftermath, but didn’t join the jamming of the stores late Thursday evening, or before the crack of dawn on Friday. (I prefer to listen for the “crack” first, and then get out of bed.)

I don’t know who invented this annual hysteria, but whoever it was (he/she/they), what an incredible idea. Feed on American materialism, stir in generous doses of greed, selfishness and covetousness, and you have a recipe to suit any retailer’s taste - and bottom line.

Instead of Santa Claus, shouldn't the symbols
of Christmas be the manger - and the cross?
Seriously, I don’t condemn those who make the “ultimate sacrifice” of forgoing sleep and such, in the quest for incredible bargains. Who doesn’t like saving money? But I wonder: Is this what Jesus had in mind on that first Christmas?

Recently I came across a quote from Roy L. Smith concerning Christmas in which he stated, He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” I’d not heard of Mr. Smith before, but I totally agree.

Over the next several weeks, many of us will be searching for the perfect gift for a loved one or friend, but the truth is, Christmas really isn’t about stuff. I wish the Bible said that, but I can’t find those exact words. The general idea is there, however.

The apostle Paul, for example, wrote, For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). He also stated, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). In other words, Paul was determined to “keep the main thing the main thing,” and not become distracted by lesser things.

Elvis Presley, among others, sang, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.” As the magic day draws near, let’s resolve to keep Christ in Christmas. It will be a blue Christmas without Him.

No comments: