We’ve hit the crazy season again. On Black Friday one shopper went mad in Wal-Mart and allegedly pepper sprayed adjacent shoppers make sure that she didn’t miss out on the bargain she wanted.
In a local store in West Virginia an elderly woman was seriously injured after being trampled underfoot in the shopping stampede. Crazy is an understatement.
As Christians we’ve just begun our journey through Advent. We are already focusing on Jesus and his birth. It’s a time of expectation, a time of yearning. It’s a time of patience and reward. In just a few short weeks Jesus is born into the world and we are reminded once again that God lived as one of us, incarnated as a human being.
God became human! God became flesh! If Jesus was alive in the flesh today I wonder what he’d have to say about the events of black Friday? I wonder what he’d make of our world.
Being human means living in a specific time and place. Human’s don’t see the whole picture, we see a snapshot of the world from a specific angle. Jesus was no different. He cried when Lazarus died. He despaired at the corruption in Jerusalem. He got angry when the disciples were pig headed, and he forgave when someone made a mistake. The world he lived in was very different to ours, but the core emotions that he felt, and the kind of problems that he faced, were not so very different to today’s.
Money problems. Relationship problems. Work problems. Family problems. Political problems. Religious problems. Personal problems. Jesus faced them all. However, Jesus always brought God into the picture. For Jesus a picture was never complete if God was missing.
I think it’s a good lesson to learn, and a god habit to adopt. Bring God into every situation.
I don’t mean bring religion into every problem, or even bring someone’s interpretation of scripture into every problem. In my experience that’s often where the real problems begin! No, bring God into every situation.
Don’t ask “What would Jesus do?”, rather, prayerfully decide for yourself what to do and ask Jesus to walk with you through your decision. In that way the decision is yours, the results are yours, and you can learn your lessons through it all. Asking Jesus to be with you, to help with you with your decisions, helps to ensure that Jesus is at the center of everything.
Problems aren’t going to go away, they’re a part of what it is to be human. However, knowing that we don’t face them alone, knowing that it’s OK to make mistakes, knowing that we’re going to get some right and some wrong helps us to relax and enjoy the journey. It helps us to live an abundant life, rich with self-expression and love.
Jesus was flesh and blood – just like you. He knows how important it is that you become all that God has called you to be, and wants to walk with you through that process. No pepper spray required. No shopping frenzy needed. The sun shining through an otherwise ‘Black Friday’