Thought For The Week – Reverend David Jones
‘Black Friday’ has come and gone and this year most of us chose to shop on line with record sales and what seem to be irresistible offers. One offer which popped into my in box was for ink cartridges and if I responded before the end of the day I’d have saved almost 60%. What a surprise that to get the discount I would have to buy a printer as well. Was I disappointed? – well sort of, – was I surprised? – not really because when you go into the nitty gritty of any such offers there’s often some sort of catch. ‘Black Friday’ however saw these offers multiply and there can, of course, be genuine bargains as retailers try to cash in and get from the ‘red’ into the ‘black’ – hence the name given to this unofficial holiday which follows on from thanksgiving celebrations in the USA.
Then again, we all love a bargain. Our weekly shop often has me gravitating towards that section where tired looking, often damaged and nearly out of date items have me and others rummaging attracted by those brightly coloured ‘cut price’ labels. I often pick up an item which I know we don’t really need and then I’m sent to replace it by my wife who knows me too well!
The saying ‘waste not want not’ remains sound advice and which can make a real difference. Did I really need those extra items that ended up in the bin? of course not. What’s the advantage of something that’s half price if it eventually becomes a mouldy mass in the fridge? Perhaps the money could have been better spent as a gift to those in greatest need within our community especially when we hear of more families dependent on food banks than ever before
It wasn’t money itself that Jesus condemned but the love of money and indifference of the needs of the poor. There are so many who give of their time and talents, their money and expertise to help those in need, locally, nationally and internationally and that is the true spirit of thanksgiving. While the whole frenzy of long queues and scuffles at the checkouts and the possibility of cyber space going into meltdown got all the media attention last weekend that commitment and dedication to those in need will go on. That’s the true meaning of Christmas – God’s greatest offer of love, peace and all the riches of heaven which led Jesus to his ‘Good’ Friday and his free gifts of love, peace and forgiveness to all who would come.