I continue to be impressed at the lengths that people will go to save money on purchasing the gifts during the Christmas season. Black friday is a perfect example. Frankly, I haven’t ever been in the black friday rush—I don’t even know, with the month-long extended internet blitz, whether people go to the lengths they used to with the brick and mortar stores. They used to camp out in lines, sometimes for an entire night, just to secure the closest spot to the door. Others would wake incredibly early. Come morning, the mad rush began as people run to get to the big deals.
Though I cannot speak from experience, I have read articles of people literally being trampled over by crowds to the point of needing medical attention. Other articles describe crazed shoppers who have ended up in verbal or physical fights that have led to arrest and imprisonment. They are there to get a deal and they are proud of it. They are not hiding in their tents afraid of being seen by the world. Put them on the news and they beam. That’s devotion, I suppose.
Which gets me wondering how crazy am I about the things I say I love? Will I lose sleep for them? Will I wait for them? Will I run to them? Will I speak up for them? Will I fight for them? Am I willing to lose face for them? Would I be willing to be imprisoned for them? Much to consider when I say that I love God and might chose the actions I just listed above. Would I be that devoted?
You might notice that I have not capitalized this form of black friday in my writing up to this point. That’s because there is another Black Friday. That Black Friday—as we less commonly call Good Friday—is the day our Lord gave himself for all of us on the cross, as part of the culmination of the events we celebrate through the Christmas season. That Black Friday is the penultimate part of the Easter story that begins with a babe in a manger. That Black Friday overwhelms all the little black fridays in our lives—those that end up as shopping frenzies—but more importantly, those dark days in our lives that seem so black! Days that may be filled with loss: jobs, health, loved ones, and more. That Black Friday gives us hope and confidence in a God who was willing to go to far greater lengths to save us than we will ever know.
We will be entering the season of Advent—the time of preparation for the coming of Christ. As we prepare for Christmas I encourage you to consider those things you love, the people you love, and the lengths you might go to for them. How will you live beyond the little black fridays in the light of such love? How might we all incorporate all of this into this season—one in which we are still dealing with the effects of this pandemic?
Finally, consider Jesus—the great lengths he went through on that Black Friday—how God’s love was perfected in Him—from the babe in Bethlehem to the agonies of the cross…all because of Gods unfailing love for you and all the world. God is devoted to you.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.