Thanksgiving was a nice time in the Poconos with my wife’s family. We shared stories of God working in our lives and our world, and new ministry opportunities blooming. We shared good food, many smiles, and many stories. Christianne and I had a 2-hour car drive home after this wonderful celebration. During this drive, I kept hearing commercial after commercial on the radio for “Black Friday.” Door busters. Huge sales. This weekend only events. Slashing prices and inventory. Etc. I then realized that as I was celebrating thanksgiving towards my Creator, the culture was beginning its celebration of consumerism. This thought I was contemplating in my heart was made concrete by a DJ who later said, “Thanksgiving anymore has turned into a day that merely gears up for Black Friday.” How true is that!
Not only has Satan used American culture to put a veil over Christmas, he has also found a way to undermine Thanksgiving. When Thanksgiving merely becomes a day to prepare for spending money, we have lost our way. When Christmas is more about feel good consumeristic church services, stacking up presents under a Christmas tree, and Santa Clause, we have lost our way. I am not saying that buying things, or giving presents to others is inherently evil or wrong…but what I am saying is that our culture can easily inform/persuade our beliefs, without us even being aware that it is happening. Are we practicing American Christianity, or Christianity in America? They are very different paradigms.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope and pray we can all be aware of what Thanksgiving and Christmas means as Followers of Jesus, that we can be aware of the seemingly pervasive way we have been duped by culture, and have the heart and ability to do something about it and take a stand. Me included.