Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

The day after Thanksgiving has become the biggest shopping day of the year. And now, some of the big box stores are inching into Thanksgiving Day itself by opening on Thursday afternoon. A national day of giving thanks has become a national day of acquiring more. We call it Black Friday. At least we named it well.

I think football is to blame. When over-fed men won’t converse with their families, but pile into stuffed chairs and watch football into oblivion, women go shopping. It is payback for the scant thanks the women got for all their hard cooking. I know; this sounds very sexist. Men do cook and women do like football. I’m generalizing here.

But I’m still sad that stores are opening on Black Friday and Thankful Thursday. Because we don’t need more practice at buying stuff. We need more practice at conversing, playing, walking, and talking—at being a family who exits the rat race for a respite of gratitude. It’s hard to do that while you’re wrestling a bargain toy from a fellow human or snoozing to another NFL game.

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SEC Football and the Worship of God

SEC Football and the Worship of God

I was sitting in a Trevecca chapel service and noted some exuberant worshipers. They were in a distinct minority in their expressiveness.

Now mind you, I am a cerebral worshiper myself. I find God better in quietness than noise. My hands are normally in my pockets and my eyes often closed as I absorb and reflect on what is being said and done. Things don’t need to get frisky for me to believe that God is among us.

But on this day, my mind raced to SEC football. Without doubt, it is the best college football played anywhere in the world. Look at the trail of championships, the players in the pros, and the passion of the fans. Every team in the SEC has rich, long-standing rituals. They have chants that all the fans know. There is a run-up of smack-talking on Facebook as the weekend game approaches. Websites dissect the games ad infinitum. And the standings are better memorized than John 3:16.

So you expect me to ask, “Why are we so passionate about SEC football and lifeless in our worship of God?”

I won’t. I just want people to leave me alone when I go to a ballgame and don’t care to stand and yell.

Oh that we could all be exactly who we are in worship and play.