It’s one of the most enigmatic days of the year.
Yesterday, our neighbours to the south spent the day giving thanks for what they had. Today, vast numbers of them are out trampling over one another to get bargains on things they perceive they need (but probably don’t).
The difference between American Thanksgiving Day and so-called “Black Friday” (named because that’s the day many retailers finally make a profit for the year) is poignant.
It reminds me of the contrast between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, when people rejoiced at the presence of Jesus in their community on one day, and less than a week later, had him crucified, convicted on trumped-up charges.
As the popular meme says, “Only one Black Friday brings eternal savings.”
You may think it odd that, with this Sunday marking the beginning of Advent, I would allude to the crucifixion. But that was his purpose: Jesus was born to die.
We can’t think of the nativity without also thinking of the passion.
What makes Christmas so exciting for me is that Jesus’ birth is what brings the promise of new and everlasting life through his death and resurrection.
Behind the manger stands the cross.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16, NLT).