November 23

Revelation 1:4b-8

“To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” vss. 5b-6

Today is Black Friday, the beginning of the Christmas shopping frenzy. Early this morning parking lots were filled as millions of shoppers competed for amazing bargains at unheard of prices. Now there’s certainly nothing wrong with buying gifts and taking advantage of sales, but it is a bit strange that our culture would begin its celebration of Jesus’ birth with a call for lavish spending and competitive shopping. Perhaps followers of Jesus can at least find some meditative moments today for some soulful reflection on another Friday, the one we call Good. We have been freed from our sins by the loving death of Jesus, and have been made into a kingdom of priests, called to serve God in all that we do. Rather than focusing on material accumulation and battling crowds it might be more suitable to use this day in figuring out how we can share our wealth with the poor. Some helping organizations have catalogs that outline ways we can give gifts to people in third world countries. There’s no doubt that such holy giving will be a blessing, both to those who receive and those who give. It’s just the sort of thing that a kingdom of priests might be expected to do!

Thought for the Day: For whom will I be buying today?

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