That space between Thanksgiving and Christmas. No longer is it about family, games around the table, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, or reading the Christmas story. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff still happens, but there is a new priority and it can be best summed up in two words – Black Friday. For the individual it’s about shopping, standing in line and getting a great deal.
For the corporation it’s about profit.
Taken together it seems to me that we are becoming a culture where consumerism is now the greatest social goal. Sitting around the dinner table and visiting has been replaced by waiting for Target to open at midnight. Church has been replaced by the mall. The corporate executive has managed to replace Jesus as Savior. Acquiring stuff is becoming more important than generosity. The health of the economy has become more central to American culture than the health of our spirituality.
The hypocrisy of all of this is that believers would sooner argue about removing Christ from Christmas than refuse to participate in a system that is raping our very soul.
What would happen if the church, by this I mean all people who identify as “Christian,” chose to boycott Black Friday? What would happen if we refused to go into financial debt during this season, even if it meant no iPad under the tree?
Please hear me correctly; I am not arguing that we shouldn’t give presents to each other. I am not saying that shopping is inherently evil. What I am suggesting is that we should prioritize people over shopping, service to others over indulgence to self, and worship to God over worship to stuff.
Salvation will not come from Wall Street, let’s choose to quit acting like it will, especially during this time of year.