To many it seems like Christmas is coming earlier and earlier each year! It wasn’t but hours after Halloween was over that the Christmas decorations were up in stores already! If that isn’t sad enough, just today there was another announcement that the Thanksgiving holiday was getting cut shorter and shorter.
I remember telling Kay at one point Thanksgiving as a day will soon be gone. Oh, work will still cease, offices will still close, families will still gather for a nice meal, but retail will stay open. Why? It’s because as the bottom line of big box stores gets squeezed, the pressure will be to make up for lost profit. Retailers will say, “If ‘they’ (the competition) are staying open we have to stay open as well”. In addition, in a consumer-driven culture where getting cheap goods for Christmas rules the day, Black Friday deals are now becoming Black Thursday night deals which will become Black Thursday deals. Trust me… coveting is one of the strongest vices in the human heart and people will justify it in numerous ways (“I just got a great deal”).
Here’s what it all “feels” like to me: There’s a way of praying that is quick and shallow because one is so excited about how good the meal is going to be. You know, it’s those superficial prayers that feel rote because they have no real depth or meaning, there’s no heart involved, and for sure it doesn’t feel grateful really for anything. The prayer is simply a formality that has to be expressed so we can start eating! That’s what Thanksgiving is becoming. It feels like a cheap, quick way to say “thanks” and then it’s on to the really good stuff of Christmas.
I wonder if God orchestrated it so that Thanksgiving would fall before Christmas. Why? It’s hard to receive anything in the right kind of way if you aren’t grateful for anything. In the same way it’s particularly hard to receive the message of God’s self-giving to the world if people do not have the space in their hearts to slow down and express gratitude.