"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

19 November 2012

Black Friday

I am wondering how to redeem the Black Friday phenomenon in our culture. I'd think that such a huge gathering of people lined up in annual pilgrimage to pay homage to the gods of WalMart, China, Apple, and their ilk... that this would be an opportunity to be countercultural, to preach a different message, possibly transcending words. I guess its too late in the season to organize a movement, but there's always next year. Maybe we could band together to give something away. Or to serve folks, push their carts, load their cars for them, bag their baggage. Or maybe we could have a ministry fair in the WalMart parking lot where the masses could see and adopt Compassion children, donate to food banks, pick up a few packages of warm woolies for the homeless ministries. Wouldn't it be cool if WalMart had less of a run on GameBoys and more of a run on scarves, hats and socks?

I am, of course, boycotting China again this Advent. I try to not buy much Chinese plastic during the year, but Advent is an all out ban for me. I'm also considering boycotting chocolate, though that may be just me --not buying chocolate for me or eating any-- and not boycotting it in my gift giving, since I have kids.

As an aside, for those of you who say "why chocolate?" The vast majority of chocolate in the world (Fair Trade offerings being the exception) are made by the labors of exploited and even enslaved children. Every time you enjoy that Hershey bar, you're encouraging slave labor. Not so sweet.

Advent, in the Eastern Church, is seen as a lesser Lent, a time to repent and get ready for the great works that Christ has done for us in the Incarnation and the Resurrection (and all points between, before, and after). Of course in our culture its the opposite, party and buy. A month of gluttony and greed.

How about buying local, giving handmade gifts when you can, keeping Christmas small and meaningful, and saving the party-season for the Twelve Day Festival of the Incarnation, instead of jumping the gun and skipping the real reason for the Advent/Lesser Lent season.

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