Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday- a Study in Contrast

Black Friday is when people go shopping and get great deals and fill their cars with all the items on their Christmas list for half the cost they might otherwise have incurred. Black doesn't seem to match the mood.
Good Friday is when Jesus was crucified, tortured, taunted, and killed. Good doesn't seem to match the mood there either.

This year, Black Friday really was black, My nutty son and adventurous wife left at 9 pm to be sure to get a good parking space for the midnight opening of the stores. It was cold and dark, an inky black sky. They planned to shop all night. Ah, to be young! I went to bed before their car wheels hit the street. It is exhausting preparing an enormous multi-dish meal that you hope to all come out hot simultaneously. It also required college level math computations. I had to compute when my make-ahead casseroles (5 of them) had to come out of the freezer/oven, and go in to the oven either concurrent or directly after the turkey came out. They all had different thaw times and different cook times, which made the careful computation necessary if they were all to emerge at exactly the same time from the oven, just as the turkey was done being carved, and the family seated with just the right amount of famished. It is a juggling act that those who have never attempted have no idea about the complexity involved.

So on Black Friday eve, I was happily snoring while the mobs scoured the malls for items that would change their life. It is really a custom that somewhat puzzles me. Thanksgiving is all about contentment and gratitude. But Black Friday really feeds upon discontent, and insatiable desire to have more. I understand the drive to save money on Christmas gifts or necessities, particularly if money is tight, but still....there just strikes me something inherently off with the biggest shopping day of the season following the day when we all wallow in contentment. And now it doesn't even just follow the day of Thanks; it begins as early as 9:00 the same day. We of course know where this is headed. Black Friday will completely engulf Thankful Thursday, gobble it up entirely, and instead of the family gathering for a feast and prayers to our Almighty Creator, we will be standing in line at Walmart gathering for prayers to the Almighty Dollar.

This is not to say that I can't wait to see what Matt and Karissa snagged on their all night foray when they wake up, which won't be til the middle of the day, I imagine. I just wish Black Friday could occur a few days after Thanksgiving. It would have a less incongruous feel. Even Jesus waited three full days after Good Friday to demonstrate why it was so good.

Job 28:3
3 Mortals put an end to the darkness;
   they search out the farthest recesses
   for ore in the blackest darkness.

Matthew 27:
39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”

Isaiah 53: 4-6
4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

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