On Facebook this morning appeared a post which simply says, “Black Friday, because only in America do people trample each other for sales exactly one day after they have been thankful for what they already have.” Tomorrow is thanksgiving in America. A time when families get together to remember and give thanks for the year that is past. it is similar to our Harvest Thanksgiving in that it occurs after the harvest is gathered in but with the added nuance that if it had not been for the aboriginal Americans sharing their produce with the first immigrants then in all likelihood they would not have survived their first year in North America. So table decorations, rich in the colours of autumn, reds, oranges and browns, also feature pilgrims and Native Americans and the table is spread with pumpkin, turkey, pecans and all manner of delicious food.
Unlike Britain, Christmas decorations in the stores are held back until this week. It is all about Thanksgiving until Thursday, but then as midnight strikes the gloves are off, stores transformed into red, green and white fling open their doors and the worst excesses of consumerism rear their ugly heads. And so Black Friday was born, a time for huge sales in preparation for Christmas and commercialism of the worst kind.
Sadly now, because of global companies such as Amazon, Black Friday has migrated to the UK. However because we do not have Thanksgiving I have actually seen some shops advertise a week of Black Friday sales, as if that somehow makes sense!
It does make me ask the question, why is it that in our increasingly global village we seem to only adopt the worst excesses of each other’s cultures rather than the best? Is there a way that the church can provide sanctuary from the madness? We cannot just stop the world because we want to get off but can we echo Jesus words and say, I want to show you a better way…..

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