As I’ve been thinking about a post to write all week, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I should not write a traditional thanksgiving post. Ignoring for a minute that I hate cliché, I have been thinking that maybe it’s more important to talk about something more than the famous pilgrims who landed on America’s shore in the 1600’s. The thing that kept popping into my head was Black Friday, and the crazy discontent and desire that it shows, but I wasn’t sure how to write something about that, until I heard a radio ad by Verizon.
Thanksgiving? No, according to a new commercial by Verizon, our national holiday of thankfulness is now called “thanks-getting.” As I listened to what the lady Verizon hired to make this sound exciting, I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Why have they turned a holiday about thanking God into something that is all about me?” I asked myself. As I thought about it, however, I realized that this sort of thing is nothing new—we’ve just been ignoring it. What is the day after thanksgiving? Black Friday. I know you all know what I’m talking about: it’s the day of the year that stores put out great deals, and people loose their sanity by waking up insanely early, getting into fist-fights over items, and trampling others to death in an attempt to get the newest and best that the world of commerce has to offer!
Let’s try a little Q&A 🙂 Here’s how it works: I’ll ask you something, and you’ll answer. Sound easy? Great!
What is today? “Thanksgiving!”
What is Thanksgiving about? “Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to God His character as provider, and glorifying Him for giving us so many gifts.”
What is the day after Thanksgiving? “Black Friday!”
What is Black Friday about? “Black Friday is about getting the best deals on everything we don’t need, but really really want.”
In other words, thanksgiving is about contentment and praise, and Black Friday is about selfishness and telling God he isn’t enough. Do you think I am being too harsh? Well, maybe I am. But honestly, I have to be harsh. Shoppers trample their fellow human beings to death on Black Friday. Human beings are God’s image bearers, and the worth you give to them is the worth you give to God. Do you still think I’m being harsh? I’m sorry. I’ll back down now. But my point stands: America has forgotten about thanksgiving. Our culture is completely about individuals and what I want.
I can admit: Black Friday deals are awesome. I’m not saying that we should boycott Black Friday. Not at all! But what I am saying is that we should watch our hearts. If we are obsessed with what we can get out of anything, be it Verizon, Black Friday deals, or even thanksgiving dinner, we should ask if we are really honoring God. Our call as Christians is to love God, know the truth, and honor God with all of us. Let’s focus on that this thanksgiving season, instead of all we can get.