Recent photos of shoppers on Black Friday reveal the darker side of human behavior. Black Friday calls us to get the best value, get the most for the least amount of money, get the hot gift, and get all of this regardless of the cost to your fellow shoppers. Black Friday has a blackness that is rarely named. We humans can be very self-focused.
This year, Black Friday came just before the first Sunday of Advent. As is the Advent tradition, this Sunday one candle of the Advent wreath is lit. I smiled as the long fat candle refused to take the flame. Yet the woman with the long match held her ground, warming the wax, working at the wick, and finally, the candle was aflame. How symbolic, I thought. How like our hearts, our minds, and our spirits to struggle with God’s words, love, and call. We too can take a long time to warm to the Holy Spirit’s flame. Maybe, our hearts are too hard to hear the word of the Lord due to how we spent our Black Friday. And yet, the Holy Spirit holds steady, coaxing us into the More of God. The first Sunday of Advent is a time of dreaming with God, a time when we could be piloted to make one small step into God’s dreams.
Bernadette Farrell, a British hymnographer, penned this beautiful call:
Bread of life, hope of the world, Jesus Christ, our brother; feed us, give us life, lead us to one another.
May we make time to feast on life-giving food and may we answer the call to be with one another.