Once upon a time (a really long time ago), Christians in America celebrated the holidays leading up to Christmas with fellowship meals and gift giving in a spirit of love and generosity. The word “holiday” was initially derived from the phrase “holy day.” A holy day indicates a day that is ‘set apart’ or ‘sacred.’ Holy-days were often a series of sacred days, hence the word: “holidays” (plural).
In America we have long abandoned the idea of anything ‘sacred.’ Particularly the day after Thanksgiving when we engage the consumer-driven celebration named by the media: “Black Friday.” It’s a day where people lay their lives on the line for the best deals in town. It is indeed a very dark day.
Every year it gets worse, and every year I’m more disheartened by the conduct of people who literally behave like wild animals to save a few dollars on a new television or cell phone. On Black Friday the sheep don’t even realize they’re being led to the slaughter at the altar of consumerism. I could preach for hours about this culturally concocted human frenzy, but I’ll let the media images speak for themselves.
I’m not sure when Black Friday came into existence. It certainly hasn’t always been part of life. I suppose we gave birth to this dark day when we decided that one day of gratitude was all we needed. Black Friday clearly illustrates that we’re never satisfied. We never have enough. We love to feed the Beast. Like gerbils on a spinning wheel, we turn the cogs of the machine, all along knowing it’ll never be enough.
If anything bears witness to the new ‘Anti-Christian’ spirit of our society it’s the annual Black Friday orgy of selfish crowds fist-fighting over holiday (holy day) bargains. Miroslav Volf says, “There’s something profoundly incongruous between the gratitude of the Thanksgiving Thursday and the Black Friday’s mad rush to acquire…” No doubt, this celebration of acquisition coming the day after Thanksgiving is indicative of an American disease.
Think about what we’ve accepted as normal. On Thanksgiving we gather with family to express gratitude for God’s provision. On Friday we rush in pandemonium, trample anyone in our way, and worship at the altar of consumerism. Yes, I said worship. Black Friday is reminiscent of a pool of piranhas when blood drips in the water. The sale prices are revealed, the doors are open, and the turkey-eating pilgrims staring killing each other for the best deals.
Society has certainly been brainwashed. It’s actually sad to see so many people manipulated by the prospects of a bargain. Black Friday is nothing to celebrate. With the desire to acquire people believe they are becoming owners and making smart decisions, when in reality they’re being bought and enslaved. There’s no better day than the Black Friday to witness the madness that’s set in to the human psyche. As Black Friday becomes celebrated holiday (holy day), it’s a sure sign that the sacred is lost.
Some of you may say, “You’re being too hard.” I get it, there’s nothing wrong with buying Christmas gifts. But when Black Friday becomes an unabashed celebration of unrestrained consumerism, I would rather not participate. I challenge you not to partake in the madness either, if for no other reason but to stop feeding the beast. Besides, I’d rather pay a little more than be swallowed up at the altar of consumerism.
(Sources: Brian Zahnd; Miroslav Volf; Biblical Times News)