I am writing this on 'Black Friday' The most consumerist invention ever I think. I have just read the following from Fr Andrew Teather (I hope he won't mind its reproduction here)
Thought for Black Friday.
The great prostitute in Revelation (in the readings this time of year) is consumerism. Tempting us to love the image of ourselves that the devil projects to our tired mortality that we become so concerned about status and position and self worth that we literally do what we might do with a great prostitute to the image of ourselves that Satan wishes us to have. We begin to lust after an even more bloated self image, thus becoming further from the image of God dwelling within us.
So, don't shore up the devil within by buying yourself stuff you don't need today. Give him one in the eye by giving something away to someone who needs it. Food, money, a hug, your time - anything that brings us together into the image of the family of God.
It seems to me that it's not just Black Friday which can tempt us. The whole of Christmas seems to be tempting in that direction. This is so ironic isn't it. At Christmas we remember the story of God becoming man in Jesus. We hear of a family with an inauspicious start. A family forced to give birth in a stable with the smelly beasts. We hear of that family becoming migrants and exile seekers in a foreign land, become asylum seekers in effect.
And yet, the one constant, the one thing that really matters is the love that unites them. It is that love which carries them through all the hardship. It is the love that really counts. It is the love that overcomes all the problems.
I pray that in this Advent and Christmas Season, we can, in the midst of all that takes up our time and our energy, our money and our efforts, we can concentrate on what really matters.
May the 'Love that came down at Christmas' be yours.