November 26, 2021
Romans 12:9-18— Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Today is “Black Friday.” Millions are shopping for the “IT” gift. These were the most sought-after toys introduced by decade.
The 1920s – Yoyo, Crayola Colors, Pop Guns, and Pogos
The 1930s – Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol, Stuffed Mickey Mouse, Finger Paints, Sock Monkey, Army Men
The 1940’s – Slinky, Silly Putty, Army Jeep (first toy car)
The 1950’s – Tiny Tears Doll, Barbie, Play Dough, Magic 8, Hula Hoop, Pogo Stick, Frisbee, Match Box Cars, Potato Head
The 1960s – GI Joe, Legos, Playskool, Troll Dolls, More Talking & Pull String Toys
The 1970s – Stretch Armstrong, Etch-in-Sketch, Skateboard, Atari, Pong, Nerf Balls
The 1980s – Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teddy Ruxpin, Nintendo, American Girl Doll, Polly Pockets, BMX Bike, Game Boy
The 1990s – Beanie Babies, Lazer Tag, Play Station, Pokemon, 2nd through 6th Generations of Game Consoles, Sheriff Woody, Furbys, Tickle-Me-Elmo
The 2000s – Computer and Phone Apps, Fidget Spinners, Fingerlings, Littlest Pet Shops, Zhu Zhu Pets, Toys from the Movie Frozen
We’ve all heard of stampeding crowds and shoppers fighting to get the last toy. In a few instances, some people even died trying to get THAT TOY. Hmmm?
What is the perfect gift to give? We all know the best gifts are in relationships. If so, what kind of “IT” gift might you give this year?
The love of your existing relationships embraced and celebrated?
The love of a new relationship embraced and celebrated?
The healing of a hurtful memory?
A word of forgiveness spoken and received?
The return of an estranged family member?
The restoration and healing of a friendship?
What is the best present you could GIVE this Christmas?
Please remember that there is another Black Friday—the day Jesus died on the cross as he gave himself in answer to all of these questions.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- How might Jesus guide what you do on this Black Friday?
- How might you allow Jesus to love you, a gift of himself, on this Black Friday?
- How might Jesus guide you as you purchase gifts this Advent/Christmas season?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What physical gifts do you want to receive this Christmas?
- What relationship gifts do you want to receive this Christmas?
- What relationship gifts do you want to give this Christmas?
Dear loving, gracious God, thank you for all the blessings you give to me. Lord, it is so easy for me to get caught up in gift-giving that I sometimes forget about my relationships. Lord, just as you gave yourself to improve your relationship with us, please guide us to do what we can to improve our relationships with others, especially those with whom we may be estranged. In your gracious name, I thank you. Amen!