Let me rant about Black Friday a bit

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Hey friends!

We had a good thing going here on the blog, and then Thanksgiving came, and with it a cold, so I didn't even want to look at a computer screen. But rest assured, we're back! We'll have another episode of Lectionerdy for you this afternoon, if you want to take a sneak peak at the texts. But first, I wanted to get some thoughts out about this time of the year. 

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Black Friday has always annoyed me. Even more so now that it's been sneaking it's way into Thanksgiving day itself, though that seemed to have dimmed down a bit this year. It's like we are thankful for just a few seconds, and then we have to run as quick as we can to buy stuff. Then we added Small Business Saturday, which is nice in principal. Take care of the little guys, shop local, all that. It's a good thing, but it is in fact ultimately still just celebrating rampant consumerism. Cyber Monday follows, which as someone who can barely summon the strength to get off the couch I certainly appreciate. But again, it's more buying stuff. Then, almost as an after thought, after we're all broke or in unending debt from the three days that proceeded, we celebrate Giving Tuesday. Whatever we have left over, that's what we'll give to someone who needs it. 

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Look, I can hear some of the objections already. Of course most will say that Black Weekend (a bit more accurate these days, eh?) is about buying gifts to give away to loved ones, and so there's a good bit of noble intentions there. I get that. But I think at the heart of it all is this insatiable need for more. We need more stuff. The people we buy gifts for need more stuff. More more more. And I think it's odd that we've actually set aside time to celebrate that as a culture. 

And yet, hiding just behind all the chaos, the church is getting ready to celebrate something truly counter cultural. We're getting ready to celebrate a season called Advent. We're going to celebrate...waiting. In a culture of Amazon Prime two day shipping, we're going to celebrate patience. In the same culture that provided me a device to get my text messages on my wrist, we're going to celebrate long periods of silence. In a culture that seems drawn to flashy shopping experiences, well crafted item displays, lights and glamor, we're gathering around a lowly manger to wait brimming with anticipation. 

So this year, I want to celebrate Advent. 

I want to celebrate it more than just a change in my stole color for a couple weeks. I want it to be more than diet Christmas. I want to celebrate sitting still. I want to celebrate waiting. I want to celebrate rest and meditation. I want to celebrate everything that the Black Weekend seems to want nothing to do with. I want to recognize that the desire for a Savior that will set the world right is still something our world is eagerly anticipating. I want to celebrate Advent. 

If you are interested in joining me in this celebration, may I recommend checking in with the fine folks at Advent Conspiracy. They have some good thoughts on how to live this out practically. To worship more fully, to spend less, to give more, and to love all. That sounds just about right to me. From time to time, we'll hop on the J-Blog here to talk about how that's going.

Let's shop a little less. Let's love a little more. Let's celebrate waiting.