Monday, December 5, 2011

What have we done to thanksgiving?

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,” - Psalms 92:1–2 ESV

In September of 1620 the pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. What followed was a brutal winter in which about half of them died. The remaining people set about making a colony, and after a successful harvest they organized a feast, starting a tradition of taking time out of the fall season to give thanks to God for His incredible provision for us. 

Nearly four hundred years later we still celebrate Thanksgiving, and taking time to stop and give thanks for all that we have is still a great idea, just like it was in 1621.

I don't remember when I first heard the term "Black Friday" but it wasn't as a kid. What was always quietly acknowledged as an important shopping day has taken on a life of its own with the era of the internet. 

Each year the frenzy of black friday has increased a little more over the last year. Stores that used to open at 5 am started trying to out-do each other until this year it finally happened. Stores were going to open at midnight, and then Wal-Mart announced that they were opening at 10pm.

It's happened subtly, but now the time of giving thanks has become a time to look at the ads and think about all the things we DON'T have, and plan to buy them. This year people were camped out in front of Best Buy for days to buy a $200 tv. 

How long before we supercede Thanksgiving altogether with a day of "early bird" sales?

When we value a great deal more than we value giving thanks for what we have, we have seriously lost focus on what matters.


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