This is worth re-posting. Excellent thoughts along the lines of Consuming Christmas from God’s Politics:
“Consumption” isn’t a bad word. Even as we watch the excesses of the consumer economy crumble and collapse around us, we should remember that the word “consume” also means “to eat.”
On Thursday, many of us consumed to excess as eaters; today, on “Black Friday,” many of us also consume to excess as shoppers. But as Eugene Cho pointed out so thoughtfully last week, buying stuff at low prices isn’t by itself a mark of shame or weakness. It is, in our post-agrarian, post-industrial society, a necessity. The issue isn’t whether we buy or not buy things. It is whether we do so with appreciation for all of God’s creation.
Before we eat, we say a prayer to acknowledge our gratitude for God’s bounty. Through prayer, we express both humility and appreciation. If we pray mindfully (rather than out of rote habit), we simultaneously acknowledge our joy at what we have while also feeling compassion for those who have not.
What if we said a prayer each time we bought something – each time we “consumed”?
And here’s a prayer to pray before you buy anything:
May the food we eat, feed those who farmed it. May the things we buy, support those who fashioned and shipped and sold them. For everything we enjoy from your good earth, God, thank you.