By now, you may have heard of a 34-year-old Long Island Wal-Mart worker who was killed during the blackest of Black Fridays.
The 34-year-old worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.
Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.
“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”
The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.
This breaks my heart for a number of reasons.
One, a man lost his life. The fleeting nature of our lives is one thing, but to die in this way is agonizingly brutal.
Two, a man lost his life while people were shopping for Christmas presents!! On a day when, like it or not, we honor the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, a man is trampled to death to find toys and products that will eventually wear out or burn out. On a day when we remember the selfless sacrifice of the Son of God gave up His home with His Father in glory to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), the loss of life as a result of the selfishness and callousness of consumers simply trying to get a deal is a low point. This is American consumerism at its worst.
Three, a man lost his life while people were shopping for Christmas presents, and only a few stopped to check on him. The article notes that this man was gasping for air, yet people walked over him and around him.
Four, the way the economy is right now, many toy stores and other department stores are giving Black Friday-like deals and have been for almost a month! This Black Friday business has just turned into a shopping tradition. It’s the thing to do the day after Thanksgiving. If some of these shoppers had been looking in the previous weeks, they would see that getting up at 2 A.M. and working themselves into a consumeristic, frothy frenzy would not be worth it.
Fifth, this should be a wake-up call for America. Some of you are saying, “OK, now. You’re overstating things.” Am I?
- In a culture whose citizenry simply thinks about their own rights, their own conveniences, their own ends-justifies-the-means mentality, more and more events like this will happen.
- In a world that embraces Darwin’s survival of the fittest, who believe that this world is all there is, with no God to inform and direct their moral and spiritual center, this is the natural and logical outworking of that worldview.
- In a world where one is defined not by who he or she is but by what he or she owns, we should not be surprised that this happened.
May God have mercy on us — and may His people not be caught up in the current of the times.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,  but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.