Friday, November 25, 2016

The Thin Line Between Black Friday and Good Friday

Friday, November 25, 2016
The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.  So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth.  It broke his heart.  And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth.  Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky.  I am sorry I ever made them.”  But Noah found favor with the Lord.  Genesis 6:5-8(NLT)
I’m always thankful for Thanksgiving.  The atmosphere of family gatherings and a pause from the rat race to catch up with loved ones and take intentional moments to offer thanks to God for blessings…well, it just seems to put me in a good frame of mind. 
Of late that frame has had some of the shine rubbed off its edges.  I have been besieged with an inbox full of Black Friday deals.  Amazon, Cokesbury, Macys, Sears, J.C.Penney, and anyone who ever got my email address want to offer me pre-Black Friday discounts and special, big-time-you-are-special-to-us-our-personal-friend-and-lifelong-buddy, Mr. R. Brownworth, customer #988979734572…shipping and handling separate, of course!
I now know how God felt when he decided to wipe humans off the face of the earth; enough is enough!
But I cannot read Genesis 6 without being caught up by that hopeful tag line:  But Noah found favor with the Lord. 
Noah’s day was not all that different from our Black Friday mentality.  The mood of the day was party, party, and…well, party!  But Noah kept his focus on the calling God had laid on his life.  Frankly that’s hard to do when the noise of a culture says:  Turn up the volume, this party’s just getting started!  The focus of Noah’s life was to get ready for the event that would be a new beginning for the human race.
And so was the other Friday – Good Friday
If ever there was a moment of new beginning, the moment that itinerant insurrectionist of love spoke while hanging on a cross, Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing…it opened the flood gates of grace.
It’s a thin line between Black Friday and Good Friday. 
On Black Friday the store floodgates open at Midnight and it’s all heels and elbows running like would-be matadors ahead of the bulls at Pamplona, crashing through the Apple Store entrance to snatch up the merchandise monster’s grace discounts. 
On Good Friday the world stood silent while God died.
It’s somewhat schizophrenic to gather on Thursday, offer humble prayers of Thanksgiving around the table of God’s bountiful blessings, and then spend the afternoon watching football while searching your I-Phone for the best midnight specials.
But that is the picture of Noah’s day and our day; it is the picture of humans-in-need-of-forgiveness-day!  It’s our human-race family picture.
It is the picture of who we are…walking a thin line between the different Fridays.

For You Today

I saw a report on the news of a survey that asked if you were going to participate in the wee-hours shopping craze known as Black Friday.  The report predicted a sharp decrease this year. 
I had two immediate thoughts:  Wall Street must be shaking in their boots, and perhaps God has more Noah-like people than I ever imagined. 
Maybe Black Friday will turn out to be a Good Friday.
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!

[i] Title image: By Powhusku from Laramie, WY, via Wikimedia Commons & By Ambrozd (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

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