Black Friday came and went! Like the ghoulish antics of Halloween we have embraced another American tradition which is after our money! Held on the Friday following thanksgiving it’s a day when most Americans are off work and free to fill the shopping malls.

Why ‘Black Friday’?, that remains a mystery but among the suggestions is that retailers go from the red into the black in terms of their takings and that might well be the reason. It’s almost inevitable then that the UK shops would not be too far behind in taking advantage of getting us to fill their tills before Christmas rather than wait for the traditional Boxing day sales. From Supermarkets to large inner city stores, internet retailers and even car sales ‘Black Friday’ is here to stay.

It’s ironic then that the message of Advent which began last Sunday is full of light rather than darkness. That’s why Jesus is called the ‘light’ of the world and this Christmas again we are reminded of God entering the world in loneliness and poverty to bring light to our darkness. The Saviour of the World was born in the squalor of a stable where by the light of a star and the call of angels shepherds and wise men were led to Bethlehem.

The world may be in turmoil with wars raging and countless numbers living in fear. The darkness compounded by the inhumanity and abject cruelty of those who claim to have the monopoly of religious truth. There are however gems of hope which shine through like stars in the night – thirty doctors and nurses leaving these shores to help the Ebola Crisis, millions of pounds raised for Children in need, loving acts of kindness which never reach the headlines but are done day by day.

The light is all around us and the Bible says that darkness will never overcome it. After all that’s the Advent message – Jesus, the light of the world is born. ‘Those walking in darkness have seen a great light!’

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