Trees, Tinsel, and Turmoil
Black Friday earned a new low when a woman used pepper spray on a group of other shoppers. "The attack took place about 10:20 p.m. Thursday shortly after doors opened for the sale. The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox video game players, and a crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping. Valle says the woman began spraying people in order to get an advantage."(Huffinton Post.com) Incidents like this filled newspapers and blogs across the country. A man from West Virginia had a heart attack amid a crowd of buyers who walked around his unconscious body. He would die later but did receive help from medical personnel who happened to be in the Target. Black Friday got its name in 1966 by the Philadelphia Police Department "to describe the crowds and traffic jams associated with the beginning of the Christmas shopping season." (About.com) Retailers use this day to make massive sales and during the Great Depression, retailers asked President Roosevelt to move the Thanksgiving date to one week earlier in November to lengthen the shopping season.
Now, our family did go out to the stores on Friday afternoon and we were amazed by the hoardes of people still standing in line for the bargains. Sadly, is this a sign the Christmas season has shifted further from the Prince of Peace to the purchase of packages?
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. Isaiah 9:5-7
Christmas is more than a season. Isaiah identifies four titles of the Messiah, Jesus. The Prince of Peace describes the fact he will establish, rule and be an example of the peace man can have with God because of the Child given to mankind. The rush to save money, buy goods, and give presents usually causes many to wish for the end of this season sooner than December 25th, falling into their easy-chair that afternoon with a sigh of exhaustion. Maybe they value the opinions of others as determined by the present and its cost more than the value of the Prince of Peace. God gave us the gift not wrapped in beatiful paper but in swaddling clothes. These clothes were strips of cloth used in preparation for the dead. Those on journeys would wrap these around their waists incase they died on the trip. This sign, spoken of the angel gives us a clue this Child would suffer death in place of his parents, Mary and Joseph, and the rest of mankind who receive this Gift.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27