Friday, November 28, 2008

New meaning to "Black Friday"

This just gets worse every year.

Hearing the announcements that some department stores would be opening as early as 4am this morning, Marcie and I shook our heads in awe. What about the poor employees? we thought-- wouldn’t that mean they would be forced to be there earlier, probably 3am? They ought to be paid extra wages for coming in that early, just to serve others’ greed.

Well, the wages of sin (including greed) is death-- and
the Valley Stream, NY Wal-Mart can vouch for it. It seems a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death when the surge of crowds pressing in (having literally broken down the doors) flooded into the store.

No one stopped to help him. No one heeded the other employees who were trying to help him. Their eyes were blinded, hearts hardened, and minds clouded by the lust and greed that drove them in.

In fact, others were injured in the same incident, including an expecting mother. One of the policemen present said, “I’ve heard other people call this an accident, but it’s not. This certainly was foreseeable.”

If I bought the hype that the government holds the answers-- that so much was “at stake” in the election earlier this month that Christians truly had reason to fear-- then I might think, “they ought to pass a law banning this sort of thing.” And maybe they should anyway.

But the answer to this isn’t legislation; friends, the answer is repentance. We need to repent, as a culture and as a nation, for the sins of greed, lust, decadence, and envy. We need to repent of the idolatry of stuff that breeds the phenomenon of “Black Friday.” We need to repent of our desire to get something for nothing-- and for our support of a corporate culture that overcharges so much for goods that they can be discounted so steeply on sale days like this. We need to repent of being able to foresee how our greed and lust could lead to others’ injury, yet doing nothing about it.

And we need to pray for the family of Jdimypai Damour of Queens, NY, as they learn a new meaning to the label “Black Friday”-- that they would be drawn to Christ, that they would know true love and grace in Jesus, that they would forgive us for our sins that led to the apathetic killing of their loved one.

This is not a Wal-Mart problem; this is a society problem. As a part of that society, I am culpable and so are you. God, forgive us.

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