Accidentally going out for lunch today, I realized it was Black Friday as everyone and their mother (except my mother) trampled passed me for the best deals.
Jostled by an innumerable host, we wormed our way through crying babies, nosy children and rude adults. And I thought: look at all these slaves; jumping at the latest deal and mortgaging their future to satisfy the present.
Since materialism is the god of many consumers, anything is worth the sacrifice: long lines, deep debt and dead employees. Trampling a Wal-mart worker to death screams out the obvious: too many people have gone too far. If only some pastor, parent or friend had told those murders that their earlier rude behavior, short tempers and excessive debt indicated a soul dissatisfied with God's providence, perhaps one more person would have been alive. Or maybe they never listened--or worse, never cared.
Christmas is no longer a time to reflect upon the greatest Gift in creation. Rather, even for many Christians, it is a time to think of one more gift for others. And for many it is a time of dread as they are shackled to more and more debt and false expectation of what love and family entails. In Christian circles this partly arises from the many false prophets who teach that God is their Santa Clause, ready to shower material blessings upon the faithful few who "sow a seed of faith" from what little savings they have. Meanwhile, others seek after God's blessings with money they don't even have. (Just watch the "testimonials'' of the 700 Club).
Now, back from that frantic environment of consumerism, I see clearly that one obvious problem in America is that too many people are slaves to Christmas--pagans and Christians alike.
And too many people are not slaves of Christ.
Everyone is a slave to someone or something.
Who is your master? God or Mammon?