When I think of black days in my life, I think of sadness, destruction and despair. Why would we as Americans call the day after we celebrate Thanksgiving “Black Friday”?
As I read in the dictionary the words “grateful” and “thankful” I do not read anything about darkness, but on the contrary about happiness, joy, appreciation and love for others.
Merriam Webster defines it this way:
Grateful - A feeling or showing appreciation for something done or received. The act of gratefulness is memorable and can live for a long time
Thankful - an appreciation of benefits received. It is a way of expressing appreciation with or without an act.
We live in a world full of hate, despair, ingratitude, sadness, loneliness. Through all these we are called to be grateful and thankful.
"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His loving-kindness (graciousness, mercy, and compassion) endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 emphasis added)
“Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
This year especially has been a tough one for our family during this thankful celebration. We have had death, sickness, separation, family problems and so on, as have so many others in the body of Christ. Yet we do not despair; we do not lose hope and we will not stop giving thanks.
When we praise the Lord, we take the eyes off our daily troubles and struggles and trust in Him who bore all the pain of Calvary to give us life. He died on the real Black Friday, when the dark sin of mankind was placed upon Him.
The fake and materialistic Black Friday is yet another futile attempt by the enemy to displace our desire to praise God on Thanksgiving Day. The real Black Friday not only displaced the power of sin and darkness, but destroyed it completely forever by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. The real Black Friday was not a one day sale, but it is an eternal fountain of Living Water from which God’s free and forgiving grace flows.
Brothers and sisters may all our days be as clear, bright and merry as Thanksgiving Day in November. May we always be grate (full) and thank (full) for we serve a Great God.
Alex and Mayra Gonzalez
The day of days is almost here! December 25th is just around the corner and everyone, or almost everyone is excited for many different reasons. Some are happy because they finally get a few days off, others are expecting toys and other gifts and another group wants to eat, drink and dance the night away during the festive season.
This joyous season of hope, love and peace has changed so much throughout the years that it is hardly recognizable anymore. The “Silent Night” has turned into the Santa night; the “Joy to the World” has become the joke of the world and Nativity is now a “Nut-tivity.”
On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) the nut-tivity season begins. Almost everyone starts behaving crazy (like nuts) going from one store to another, buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress or please people they don’t even like.
Nativity is the celebration of our Lord’s birth. I will not waste my time debating if He was born on December 25th or not. We celebrate his birth on this day, but we do not celebrate a day or a month, or even a season: We celebrate his birth. The only thing that matters is the fact that He was indeed born…regardless of the day.
As Christians, we must celebrate the birth of Jesus in a meaningful, hopeful, peaceful and joyful way. If you like to give presents, do so in the name of Christ and for his glory. Stay away from the crazy nut-tivity spirit that drives most people into a shopping, eating and drinking frenzy.
Nativity belongs to us, the followers of Christ. Let this world worship Santa and his elves; we will worship Christ, our King. Let the people of this world put lights around their houses and decorate a tree; we worship Jesus, the light of the world (John 8:12) who died for us upon a tree (the cross).
Let us take Nativity back (also known as Christmas) and celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Immanuel (Matthew 1:23). Remember that He is no longer in the manger, on the cross or in the tomb; He now lives in our hearts.
What will you celebrate this year? Will it be the usual “Nut-tivity” with all its crazy activity, or will you remember the Nativity that is, the birth of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?