Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
In recent years a new date has appeared on the calendar, Black Friday. It is the day for the worship of material possessions. That worship is made easier by the fact that you don’t even need to leave your house to visit the temple to the god Mammon as it can all be done on-line!
Throughout the Old Testament we read of tribes and peoples worshiping graven images, even before the golden calf Aaron set up whilst Moses was away speaking with God. In Roman times every house had a shrine to some god or another. Indeed, there was a temple to every god you could think of at each street corner. In demanding worship of the Sun God, Sol Invictus, the Emperor Aurelis, was demanding worship of himself, since he was regarded as the direct descendant of that god. Whilst worship of the emperor is no longer usually required,( although I do worry sometimes at the amount of hero worship we give to our sportsmen and women, our film “stars”, and TV “personalities”), yet we still worship the great god Mammon, the acquisition of riches, possessions, material goods. Just look at the advertisements screaming at us to buy the latest ‘must have’ gizmos. But do you really need them? Can you not be satisfied with what you have, with what God has given you? I return to Jesus’ words that I have quoted often in the past: Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29(AKJV)
If money is burning a hole in your pocket so that you really need to spend it, why not consider those for whom the material riches promised on Black Friday are but a far off dream, the poor, the homeless, indeed all those in need. They need your generosity far more than the corporate giant retailers.
But whilst giving money to a charitable institution, think also of generosity of spirit. After all, there are those around you who would welcome your time, your compassion. It maybe something simple; perhaps a quick hug, a kind word, or a cup of coffee for the homeless man on the street, but it may be more, much more. Whatever you have to give, be it cash or compassion, give it now, not just from spare change but real giving. ‘And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: Mark 12:42-43(AKJV)
Finally, remember Jesus’ message: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40 (AKJV)
This coming Sunday I will read the final Epistle of the liturgical year at St Mary Magdalene. The church year has come to an end.
I am an Authorised Local Preacher in an Anglo Catholic parish church, in the Diocese of Essex UK