Whose birthday?

My inbox is currently flooded with advertisements for Black Friday sales.  There is a little bit of irony, that a term used from the retailer’s perspective to express the dread of working on the busiest shopping day of the year, has become a sales slogan.

I would like to offer an alternative slogan: It’s not your birthday.

It is a statement I first heard from Rev. Michael Slaughter.  He used this as a challenge to his congregation.  It is not a challenge to avoid spending, but instead, to focus on buying birthday presents for Jesus, instead of ourselves.

If it is hard to buy a gift for the person who has everything, how do you shop for the Creator who made everything?  The prophet Micah pondered this same question, with the familiar answer “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Jesus commanded those who follow him to show this mercy through giving and caring for those less fortunate.

Will you consider giving a birthday present to Jesus this year?  Will you consider giving some (or all?) of what you budgeted to spend on gifts for your family and friends to a worthy cause, or directly to people in need?

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