I have never been an up at the butt crack of dawn Black Friday shopper and I never will be. Every year, more and more people are killed or severely injured because of the stampedes, fights and other violence that occurs at stores all across America.
This year, mayhem is breaking out from New York to California. It’s ridiculous! Some of the stories I’ve heard about in the news include:
- Chicago, IL – Black Friday dawns with gunshots, injuries, mayhem
- Rialto, CA – Officer injured while stopping Black Friday brawl
- Clinton, UT – Woman knocked down, trampled at Wal-Mart during Black Friday frenzy
- Claypool Hill, VA – Holiday shopping season kicks off with fights, arrests
- Newport, AR – Walmart employee injured during Black Friday sales
- Long Island, NY – Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede
Along with the injured Wal-Mart employee in Long Island, an eight month pregnant woman was also injured. I hope she and her baby are ok.
What is wrong with people? Have we really forgotten what the TRUE meaning of Christmas is about? I know I have to be reminded sometimes. In my house this year, Christmas will be different. It’s not going to be about electronics and toys and things we simply want. We’re going to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Here are a few ways we can do it (from http://www.beckhamhouse.com/title_50ways.html):
1. SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. If we sing the song for everybody else on her birthday, why not for Him? You may feel silly at first, but this is what Christmas is really all about. Sing just before the meal, and consider baking a cake in His honor.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. –Psalms 47:6
2. HONOR GOD
Think about when you first committed your life to God and how you were willing to do whatever you could to please Him. Maybe it’s time to become active in the church, or to start paying your tithes. Take an honest look at your life and identify the areas that need improvement.
But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands, as at this time. –I Kings 8:61
3. WRITE YOUR THANKS TO JESUS
Sit down with your children and make sure everyone has paper and pens. Then have everyone list the reasons why he’s thankful Jesus was born. Share your list with each other and hang them in a visible location as a reminder.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. –Psalms 107:8
4. READ MATTHEW 5, 6 & 7
Since we’re celebrating his birth, we should remember what Jesus taught us with his life. Reading these three chapters — sometimes referred to as the Christian faith’s Magna Charta — will help us stay focused on Jesus’ message of love, compassion and service. This gives us everything we need, in a nutshell.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. –II Timothy 2:15
5. RESPECT OTHER RELIGIONS
When the disciples complained about a man who wasn’t part of their group, and was driving out demons, Jesus told them not to stop him, because whoever isn’t against you is for you. Jesus was never about intolerance. There is good and evil in everyone, whether he’s Christian, Muslim or Jew.
I have other sheep who are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. –John 10:16.
6. TALK WITH JESUS
You know how you often call someone on her birthday? Use Christmas to give Jesus a call. Even if you talk with Him all year long, this is His birthday, and He deserves an extra special call. Let Him know how you feel about Him, how much you love Him, and that you plan to stay in touch more often.
If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. –II Chronicles 7:14
7. PRAY FOR SOMEONE
We often try to remember others in our prayers. But this time, pick out someone and devote an entire prayer for her sake. Call upon the Lord for her in every way — physically, economically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Say a special prayer for those who lost loved ones during the year or experienced some other hardship.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. –James 5:16.
8. DESIGN A JESUS BANNER
In November when the holiday season starts to really gear up, design a “Jesus Is The Reason For The Season” banner, or construct some other similar saying. Hang the banner on your front door or some other visible place in your house as a reminder to yourself and others.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. –Matthew 5:14-16
9. BE A WITNESS
Christians are supposed to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. Sometimes we don’t, for various reasons, even though there are ample opportunities throughout the year. But if you’re ever going to start, Christmas is as good a time as any.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. –Acts 1:8
And like the site says, “you don’t have to be a Christian to put Christ back in Christmas.” It’s a personal choice.
What choice will you make?