Brawls and fatal shootings mark Black Friday across the US.
Black Friday, by far is my least favorite day of the whole year. Every year, it’s become like a tradition for me, on the day after Black Friday, I’ll google what craziness happened that day. This year, my search results came up with brawls, fist fights, shootings, stabbings. There was this particular poignant but very sad phrase that summed up the craziness of Black Friday so well: a casserole of cardboard and corpses.
It’s depressing that the day that for many officially begins, what I don’t think can be called the Christmas season any more, but the gift giving season of shopping insanity, is marked by such violence, death and chaos. It’s telling that how people act for a certain event tells you a lot about what is being focused upon and even worshipped on that day.
When owning and possessing more and more stuff in a crazy rush that doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process or how badly you go into debt, that definitely is not Christmas at the center. Because Christmas is, the mass, that is the worship and adoration of the Christ child. That is a day that we celebrate the ultimate gift of self-giving and self-sacrifice that would lead to the cross.
But the day that is celebrated on December 25th that is opened by Black Friday and a casserole of cardboard and corpses, what should we call it? Walmartmas, stuffmas, greedymas, creditcarddebtmas. I don’t know, any of those will do, because all of those talk about what is being worshipped and adored on December 25th. Stuff and the possessing of more stuff which is just another way of worshipping myself. Maybe we should call it Memas. December 25th is a day to worship me and what I want.
So let’s compare these two holidays that are being celebrated this month, both Christmas and Memas and see which one you want to be celebrating this month.
Let’s start with Memas, Merry Memas everybody. This celebration begins on Black Friday and is opened by chaos, shootings, brawls and fatal shootings. We could honestly say that the celebration of Memas probably leads people to some of the lowest places people can go. The looks on people’s faces you can see on YouTube are more like pictures of demons in Dante’s inferno then Santa’s helpers. It’s like people can’t help themselves from dragging their butts into these places where all of this chaos happens, it’s like they are being dragged and enticed by their own desires even knowing the consequences that can happen like losing your own life for that cheap plastic toy on sale. This celebration of memas leads people to behave in some of the worst ways that they can because the celebration of memas is centered in owning and possessing. Because Memas is all about me than the attitude of people who celebrate memas is self-importance and greed, lifting yourself up above others and that can only lead to a sort of emptiness that can never be filled but people keep trying by owning and possessing more and more. Merry Memas.
Now, Merry Christmas! The preparation for Christmas does not begin on Black Friday but on the First Sunday in Advent. Advent is a season of preparation of the heart and mind to prepare ourselves to receive the gift of Jesus Christ. The season begins with quiet preparation of heart and faith with devotions, worship and prayer. Christmas is the highest of all truths for humanity and all of creation. God has kept his promise that a savior would be born to us who save us from our selfish sins and bring us back to the love of God. This highest point of humanity and the most important truth for an individual human life. God gave of himself to save you and this gift of love was born on Christmas morning. This highest of all truths when received in faith leads the heart to flow the house of the Lord because Christmas is centered in hearing and receiving the Word of God that tells us about Christmas. Centered in God’s Word of Love Christmas leads to some of the best ways people can live inviting others to know God’s love and share that love in fellowship and care for each other. Christmas is all about being centered in the love of God that brings to the heart the peace that only God can give. Merry Christmas.
What about you, what holiday are you celebrating this year? Are you in the season of Advent preparing for Christmas or are you in the season of Black Friday madness dragging yourself into Memas?
If you’re preparing for Christmas here are some ways that you can walk in the light of Christ this month:
– Respond to the love of Christ by flowing into worship, devotion and prayer.
– Tell your children and friends about Saint Nicholas, not Santa Claus about the gift giving Christian who cared for the poor and the needy not the man in red who only gives to those who are nice.
– If you are buying gifts for Christmas remind your loved one that this is because of the gift of the Christ Child given to us. Set a limit on what will be spent and work on changing expectations for what Christmas eve/day will look like.
– Say Merry Christmas and be extra kind, knowing that if you’re expectation is receiving the love of Jesus there is no need to stress out because that is already here for you.
– Thank God often for all God has done for you in Jesus.
So what will be for you and those you love, will you be celebrating Memas this year or Christmas? For me and my family, it will be a Merry Christmas.