Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4 a.m. or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but it may as well be since many people are off work this day. For the last seven years, it has been the busiest shopping day of the year as retailers anticipate moving “into the black” financially when sales are tallied at the end of the day.
Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, created by companies to persuade people to shop online. The scheme made its debut on November 28, 2005, in a shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year.” This day has become an international success for online retailers in many other countries as well – Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany and Chile, to name a few.
Now we’re beginning to hear about GivingTuesday™, and the mission statement for this new initiative reads: “GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.” While it’s admirable to emphasize a day of giving, it seems more reminiscent of the greeting card companies’ propensity to create an end-to-end stream of holidays that are obviously promoted more for their commercial value.
When we really examine the act of giving, we come to understand that, as Christians, every giving decision is first and foremost a spiritual decision having to do with God’s faithfulness to us!
So – by all means, give good gifts to good causes on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. But let’s also remind ourselves that giving doesn’t require a certain day of the week – giving comes as you experience the alignment of your heart with God’s will for your life and his purposes. As I Timothy 6: 18-19 teaches: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it with December 25 fast on its heels! This season, may we all intentionally focus on the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, knowing that giving brings joy!
We hope that you will consider a year-end gift to Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary. We would be blessed and appreciative beyond measure. What a joy your gifts are to us!
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