CNNMoney.com has an interesting little article on Black Friday spending. Unless you live in a cave or spent Thanksgiving under a rock you couldn't miss all of the dire economic predictions for this years Christmas season. But now that the totals are in Black Friday spending was up 3% to over 10 billion dollars. Which leads to a prediction of a 2.2% increase in total holiday spending, totalling 470 billion dollars.
Just for some perspective Bread for the World has projected that $4Billion dollars would cut world hunger by 50%. something to consider as we light the advent candles.
Also in the same article is the mention of shootings and other violent tragedies as shoppers rushed about trying to get the best deals on Black Friday. A friend told me that while waiting outside for a store to open a woman in front of her in line felt that a man had tried to cut in front of her so she grabbed him by the throat and wouldn't let go until the police got there.
Here is the thing. Churchy folk, we like shake our heads and click our tongues at this thought. But very few of us would abstain from shopping on Black Friday altogether. And perhaps we should. It seems to be getting particularly dangerous. You could get choked or shot. And it is particularly dangerous for the rest of the world... we would rather spend 470 billion dollars on video games than 4 billion on world hunger.
Today marks the first day of preparation forthe birth of Jesus. This same Jesus would warn us that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. I wonder if Jesus would want us to celebrate his birthday this way? Maybe he would just tell us to quit and start over.