Today is what Americans call, “Black Friday.” It signals the unofficial start of Christmas shopping. The term has an interesting history. In the 1950’s it referred to all the workers calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving. In the 1960’s it was used by policemen in Philadelphia to describe the mass of shoppers and the resulting congestion. The term has now come to mean retailers finally pulling out of the red ink and into the black on their balance sheets.
France does not have such a day, although their two months of sales, January and July, are much busier. When the stores put on a sale they will often use the word, “sacrifié” or “sacrificed” to describe their discounts.
It was this word, “sacrifice” that made me think of our verse for today. In the Old Testament, there was a “sacrifice of thanksgiving” that was part of the sacrificial system described in Leviticus. With Christ’s perfect sacrifice, we are no longer under this system. But our verse describes another kind of sacrifice; one of praise! The fruit of our lips is to give thanks to His name.
Why would it be called a sacrifice to praise Him? A sacrifice means that it costs us something. It is a sacrifice to praise Him when I do not feel like it. It is a sacrifice when I am feeling discontent or deprived. It is a sacrifice when I do not understand what He is doing. But I can praise Him when I am looking towards that city which is to come (verse 14). Praising Him is no sacrifice when I have that eternal perspective!