I’ve done my share of after-Thanksgiving shopping in the past. When my children were young, buying toys and clothes at holiday prices helped provide a more substantial Christmas. I’d rise before dawn and slip out while my family still slept. I’d return in time to make breakfast. The fun of seeing their eyes dance when the item they’d hoped for waited under the tree was worth any sleep I lost.
But now sock sales and building blocks don’t call me from my warm, flannel sheets, nor do the latest television screens. My shopping leans toward the personal—finding the perfect item to give. My children are grown and they give as much as they get. The spirit of the holiday, and not the commercial push, has become the most important emphasis.
Christmas isn’t about an accumulation of things. It’s about understanding the miracle that happened in Bethlehem so long ago. The first Christmas, the baby Jesus was surrounded by animals in a smelly stable, watched by shepherds who brought only their awe as a gift. More than a year later, the wise men found the child and gifted Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The items are significant because they were costly merchandise that could be traded or sold, providing the funds his parents would need when they fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s decree.
God sent His only Son as a baby to save a dying world. As a man Jesus would proclaim God’s kingdom to an unbelieving generation. Many would reject him, and religious leaders would demand he be crucified. On another Friday—a true Black Friday event—the skies would grow dark, the earth would shake, people would cry out as he died. Those to whom He appeared after he rose from the dead, those who believed He was the Son of God, would be given eternal life in heaven with God.
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Have you experienced the transformation that comes with a true Black Friday encounter? Talk to your pastor, a Christian friend, or write to me. The news could be life-changing.