Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Madness of the Season

I work part time at a Wal-mart store in my area. This works out well for me as I take classes during the week. Sales are consistently down {when compared to last year's sales} at this particular store, due to the depressed area in which I live {rural mid-Illinois}, as well as the economic downturn.
As everyone knows, today was black Friday. I have never participated in this madness in my life, so this morning was a whole new eye-opening experience for me. I saw, firsthand, what Christmas really is about in America, a 'Christian' nation {I use that term very loosely}. At 11 p.m. Thursday evening, people were already in the store waiting for the big event. By 3 a.m. the crowd had tripled. I wondered, to myself, what drives people to spend nearly an entire night in a supercenter! By 4 a.m., the store was packed, with people hovering over the particular item{s} they'd set their sights on. Let me remind everyone, the unemployment rate in my area is over 10%.
We were instructed to cut the plastic off the pallets around 4:45, telling the people not to put anything in their carts until 5 a.m. This was done for our safety, which I am very grateful. At 5 a.m., I yelled to the people in my area to 'go'! Then, I stood back and observed the insanity of it all. There was one particular item, bath towels and washcloths, that were 'sale priced' at $2.oo; folks went crazy! What they didn't know was that at the end of the aisle where the regularly priced towels and washcloths were, there were towels and washcloths with an 'everyday' price of just 1.75! No one even bothered to venture down the aisle, they stayed on the 'racetrack' of merchandise mapped out with balloons identifying the price.
By 6 a.m., the mob had moved to any available check out, so my observing was basically done. As I re-hash all this, I get back to my thoughts of what Christmas means in America...Christmas means pushing and shoving others, fulfilling our greedy, selfish desires, and those of our loved ones by standing in line so we can buy what our/their carnal hearts desire; Christmas means we drag trees in our homes, throw lights up on our house, set cookies and milk out for some imaginary fat guy who dresses up in a red suit, and lie to our kids about where the presents come from; Christmas means we spend money we may not have on presents we don't really need as we lavish ourselves and others with gifts. What about God's Son? Didn't He come here, as a newborn babe, with one purpose, one die?
As we approach another pagan holiday season, let us reflect on the beauty of our Lord's first coming, His giving of self so that we may live eternally with Him. Christ is our gift, He is our reward...what can we possibly buy that could top that?


Marie said...

Wow, you were in the trenches, huh? I've never shopped on Black Friday. Never will. Some of my neighbors were talking excitedly about the "deals" at a dessert party last night (I confess I ate too much pie. Hey, we all have our weaknesses).

I couldn't agree with you more. My husband and I decided a long time ago we will not buy into the commercialism (coming from Eastern Europe, he was appalled at what Americans have done to Christmas/New Year's), we get our children one gift each, and spend Christmas as a family. Naturally, church has a nice service and this helps keep the focus on Jesus.

This year, I chose for each of the kids a Salvation Army "Angel Tree" child of their own age and sex, and we went shopping together for them. They were excited at being able to pick out presents for the "kids whose parents don't have a lot of money", and today they made each of them a personal card. I'm sure this will help make Christmas more special for them, knowing they made it brighter for someone else.

They really don't care about "stuff". They have all the clothes they need, enough toys, and they know it. I think if we model contentment AND giving, our kids pick up on it and learn it as the norm.

We've recently started praying together before meals, too - the kids love that.

lyn said...

I have never seen anything like it! Grown adults acting like their life depended on discounted items, willing to shove others out of the way to get what they want. It really shouldn't shock me, I just never saw it firsthand before.
I have no desire to shop, especially the day after Thanksgiving. We have a family Christmas dinner; my brother leads in prayer as we give thanks for what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us. There was a time, before God saved me, that the holidays were a drunken blur to me. This day, I have MUCH to be thankful for.

Mickey Merrie said...

This is the end result of 150 plus years of liberal pastors preaching to the crowds who follow Jesus for what He can do for them, rather then Who He IS! On earth they cry feed me! bless me! lift me up!...
In heaven they exclaim Holy! Holy! Holy! There, His Will is done, without question...because they WANT His Will. It is so bad here on earth, that folks hear, "IF my people, who are called by My Name will...."....and they think it means pray for their pastor and the politicians, and the country...They miss completely that FACT that it is a rebuke to the "in name only, self absorbed, broad road religious." Their prayers are vain according to Jesus, and a stench in the nostrils of God. Jesus said, WHEN you you see the contrast? (IF they will pray properly...and knowing they will pray inproperly for their own blessings.)When you pray, don't pray your will but God...Your Will be done.
Our land is under judgement today, and yet the only prayers being offered are for God to restore our "best lives now." Lord fix everything so I can continue living for myself and being blessed rather then blessing Him.
Do you want to know God's Will? It is that in EVERYTHING Christ Jesus would be PRE-EMMINENT...X-mass is the correct way to spell the holiday, because it is a holiday devoid of Emmanual. Jesus has become a mascot like Chuckie Cheese or Mickey...on the buildings so we can find them, but it is really about the food, fellowship (not really fellowship but socialization) and lots of self centered entertainment.