I could not fall asleep last night. Perhaps it was because I ate a ridiculous amount of food on the Thanksgiving, also known as the National Day of Mourning to Native Americans.
As I was drifting off at 1am I was thinking about all the crazy yahoos who were out shopping in the middle of the night. It’s Black Friday. The infamous day when retail stores go from “the red” (not making money) in to “the black” (making money) as millions of shoppers rush stores with furious greed for a “good deal,” to make your money go further, to “save.” More more more! Bigger! Better! Latest and Greatest! Brand new! Newly improved! Truly, Black Friday is consumerism at it’s finest. Especially back-to-back with the gluttonous feast that is supposed to be a holiday of gratitude and gratefulness.
What’s it all for? I don’t even understand it. Black Friday shopping has never been a thing for me. In fact most years I intentionally do not go out to any store because once year I needed to grab A SINGLE ITEM from Costco, not remembering that it was Black Friday, and it was a zoo. No parking. Lines inside. Lines outside. No smiles. No eye-contact. Not a kind word exchanged. Seemingly enumerable amounts of people, hurried and on a mission to spend them dollas… Ugh. No thank you. But there are some people to live for this day, where they can find the greatest deal, the biggest savings. Oh how “good” they feel!
I find it interesting to think about the “goodness” of Black Friday as a comparison with Good Friday. “Good Friday” is a part of Holy week leading up to Easter and is in fact the day that Jesus suffered immense physical abuse and torture while also taking the verbal insults of Pharisees and passer-bys. After Jesus finally allowed Himself to be overtaken by death, the whole sky turned black even though it was mid-day. Darkness consumed the light. That sounds like “Black” Friday to me. I have wondered why it was called “Good” when Jesus took on the sin of the whole world and suffered a horrible, dishonorable and disgraceful death. Of course, without the death there could be no resurrection... But does that make His day of death “good”?
My friend Google tells me the definition good. Google says that good is something "to be desired or approved of." By this definition "good" does not fit for the day that the Son of Man was publicly scorned and crucified. Surely there are few who desire this kind of death earnestly. But if we look at the definition under noun, "benefit or advantage to someone or something," that I can get on board with. That Jesus' death, though horrible and unearned was indeed for the advantage and benefit of the whole world.
Perhaps some may make the claim that Black Friday too is for the good, the benefit and advantage of businesses, of the economy...