It’s Black Friday.
Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? Especially after a day we call “Thanksgiving”? Apparently we call it Black Friday because it’s the day all the retailers go back “into the black.” The shoppers get out there and spend and spend and spend until their pockets are empty and the cash registers are full. I hope they do it happily, with hearts still spilling over with gratitude from the day before, and that they think about those people they know and love and search for the perfect gift for each one.
I, for one, will not be joining them. I’ll be driving back to Richmond after a delicious Thanksgiving Day celebration in New York City. For the first part of that journey I will be savoring the memories of the holiday, but somewhere around Baltimore I will start thinking about Richmond, and about the work that waits for me there.
And here’s the good news: I love my work.
I appreciated all the comments on Wednesday about whether we’re supposed to bring heaven to earth or get people to heaven. I think that in the end we concluded that both of those things are important, and essential to the work God has for us to do here. At our best, we can’t keep from telling people about Jesus and helping them enter into a life-giving and life-changing relationship with him, but he himself would probably tell them to join him in the joyful work of bringing heaven to earth. It is joyful work, and you can see that in Louis and Linda Watts’ letter from yesterday. Taking that pumpkin bread to Glen Lea Elementary School blessed them as much as it blessed the teachers, and I believe it’s the kind of thing that would make Jesus smile.
I’ll be smiling on the way back to Richmond today, thinking about that, and thinking about all the ways the people of First Baptist have entered into the spirit of this year-long, every-member mission trip. Some of them may be out there today, on Black Friday, spending money in a way that blesses the lives of others.
God bless them every one.