Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Today is the common American celebration known as “Thanksgiving”. Sadly, coming close upon the heels of it is the annual “Black Friday” sales. What does this mean? Seriously, what does this mean? Historically, in the United States, “Black Friday” would be the commemoration of the assassination of US President John F Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on 22 November 1963. Prior to that there was the Fisk-Gould Scandal of 24 September 1869, which resulted in a partial collapse of the US economy. Neither of these events has anything to do with “Thanksgiving” or our modern “Black Friday” sales events, though the assassination of JFK was just prior to Thanksgiving that year.
Sadly, we have lost sight of what it truly means to be thankful. More importantly, we have lost sight of whom it is that we should be thankful to. Throughout the Bible, we are frequently admonished to give thanks and praise to the Lord our God. Sadly, we have replaced the God of the Bible with the “god” in our wallets. Thats right. Thanksgiving has been reduced to little more than a pre-shopping spree gathering with a football game thrown in for good measure. The only thing some people are thankful for these days is that they have money to spend on items they don’t need at prices most people can not afford.
Critical? Yes. Highly so. The pilgrims, those first settlers from Europe, endured a harsh first winter (or so the tale is told) and it was only by the help of the natives and the providence of God that they survived at all. They truly had something for which they could be thankful. However, they were not the first.
It is no surprise to many that the Advent season is almost upon us. For some the concept of Advent is all but lost in the hustle of shopping for Christmas presents and attending “holiday” parties. For others, it is a time to prepare the church and the heart of the coming of the newborn king, whom was placed in a manger and first visited by shepherds who thanked God for this divine gift. True, Christ Jesus was NOT born in December. However, as he is the true light of the world and as the solstice is the coming of the light, it as an appropriate time as any to celebrate the birth of the Lord. It is this that the Christian gives thanks for.
As you gather today with friends and family around a turkey or ham, keep this in mind. For all that we think we may be thankful for, we should put aside the shopping sprees and vanity of getting “deals” that really are no deal at all. Instead, we should give thanks to God for his sending his son into this fallen and sin sick world to bring healing and salvation. We should never think to put our Lord on the back burner in some sort of zeal to spend money that we really can not afford to spend. Instead, we should seek to find our way back to the church and to hearing the Gospel of the our Lord who loved us so much he was willing to take upon himself our flesh and die upon the cross for our sins. This we should be thankful for. Anything else is sin.