Tomorrow, millions of Americans will be headed out to the malls and to their local Walmarts, Targets, Kmarts and other retailers to celebrate the national retail holiday known as Black Friday. It’s ironic that it is called Black Friday because sometimes things can get kind of dark and scary on the day when everything is deeply discounted. On previous years people have been trampled to death, fights have broken out over gaming systems, people have gotten robbed while putting purchases in their cars, and most people commit the personal crime of spending more then they can afford to when they buy things that aren’t necessary to acknowledge the upcoming Christmas season which is rooted in the birth of Christ and not in the acquisition of goods. (Ok, I’m off my soapbox.) Nevertheless, I wanted to offer up a prayer for everyone who will brave the traffic, the long lines, the crowds and the falling prices of Black Friday.
We first and foremost thank you for the provision to be able to buy gifts during a time when the world’s economy is still in recovery mode. But as we thank you for this provision, we also ask for knowledge, wisdom, and discernment so that we can be good stewards over the financial resources you have given us. Do not let us exceed our budgets but let us stay within our budgets remembering that beyond the sales, on the other side, are people who could really use the money we would spend on gifts. Let us remember that our wants represent someone else’s needs. Do not let the spirit of greed and consumption overtake us on this day. Let us remember that the Christmas season is not about buying things and receiving things as much as it is about spreading love and reminding people of the great love that came to the earth for us. May that same love extend on this day. May we exercise patience in long lines; kindness in crowds and may traveling mercies be extending to us in traffic. Grant everyone safety throughout the day and beyond. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.