My Fitness

Saturday, November 28, 2015

yesterday the blackest of days

Did you know that Satan was once Lucifer, the brightest of angels? His name literally was "morning star". Nowadays this Father of Lies still deceives his children with beauty and light. Remember his lies to Eve? "You will be like God." Even God wants us to be like God. But you can't be like God by following any path other than the one he paves. This lie still persists today...especially yesterday.

I feel like there is a constant tug-o-war for our holidays. Some esteem one day higher than another and each should be convinced in his own mind. It seems that God doesn't really care about days. He established seven holidays and not many Christians even acknowledge them. Christmas is not one. Neither is Thanksgiving.

Christmas has pagan origins that Christians stole and redeemed for the celebration of the birth of Christ. I see it as a bright day in the middle of darkness. Winter is scary. Jesus' birth brings hope. But today we (as a society) still use pagan symbols like the tree, which in many pagan nations were thought to keep witches away. But we took these superstitious symbols and decided that we'd use these trees to remind us of the tree that took Christ's life and our sins.

Paul showed us on Mars Hill that we can take pagan symbols and use them to point others toward Christ. I'm okay with doing this with days if Paul is okay with doing this with an actual false god and his altar.

Even Halloween. Halloween has ancient Druid pagan origins. They used squash and pumpkins to scare away evil spirits and sacrifice their children. Maybe. But Christians have been using this holiday to spread the good news and bring light to their neighbors by handing out tracks, and let light shine in jack-o-lanterns, and use this day as an excuse to gather with neighbors and share love.

Thanksgiving was instituted in the US by President Lincoln as a day specifically to thank our Creator for his goodness and provision. But immediately after this day of thankfulness is the darkest day of greed that we don't even pretend isn't and have called Black Friday. Although not a holiday it is certainly a day where worship of self and altars of greed are set up.

Black Friday is advertised like this:
they smile because they're about to steal your soul
And just like Satan's lies, all sin is advertised as being full of light. Bad guys don't know they're bad. Even ISIS thinks they are the good guys. Satan says this sin will make you feel better, this sin will complete you, you will feel like god, this is a good deal.

This advertisement shows smiling models and low(ish) prices. The prices aren't even that great. People are killing each other over bad deals - that's what sin is, people killing themselves over a horrible deal (i.e. brief satisfaction for an eternity of emptiness).

The reality is people trampling, stealing, fighting for the possibility of giving money to big corporations. The reality is this.

Satan uses greed and hedonism to steal Thanksgiving. One day we share our thanks with our friends and family. We celebrate our God and all the good he has done for us and the very next day, wait, actually that very evening we set ourselves up and plan how we can best serve ourselves. We give in to our darkest on Black Friday. We may even say shallow things like, "I'm trying to be frugal." or "I'm getting this gift for a loved one." No. You're only fooling yourself.

This is what I am NOT say: I am not saying that it is unchristian to buy things on Black Friday. I am not saying that if you participate you are a bad person. I am not saying that if you refrain you are a better Christian. I am not saying that you are evil because of Black Friday.

I am saying: Black Friday reveals our darkest, innermost souls. I saw a video where a gal grabbed an item from a toddler and then tried to steal a second item from the toddler's mother and then the gal started screaming that the toddler's mom was being aggressive. What is that about? It's evil. Black Friday just gives us opportunity to show our vileness. If we refrain we simply show it in different ways.

So if you saw your darkest yesterday, whether by participating in Black Friday fights and mobs or by refraining and arrogantly snubbing "those animals" just remember that the desire to be a god is ancient and the ability to become the least of these and serve each other in Christlike humility and grace is available for all. God loves you whether you show your true colors or not. He sees straight through your veils. He loves you at your blackest and he loves you at your holiest.

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