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Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalms 98:1-6; Hebrews 1:1-6;
John 1:1-18

"The word was made flesh, He lived among us"
(John 1:14).

You may have heard that the giant, online retailer Amazon
is experimenting with the idea of delivering packages in
certain areas using drones -- you know those strange,
remote controlled aircraft that are deployed these days for
everything from aerial travel photography, to police work,
even pizza delivery! Addressing this lofty topic, a recent
New Yorker Cartoon depicts a mother encouraging her
reluctant little boy who is waiting in line to have his
Christmas picture taken. Instead of the jolly old department
store Santa, we see a strange looking contraption seated
on Santa's throne, beckoning the little boy to come forward.
The caption reads, "Don't you want to sit on the Amazon
drone's lap?" Who knows, maybe next year we'll have
drones helping the real Santa!

The popularity of Santa Claus is astonishing. In one form
or another he is almost universally loved around the world,
even in places where the Christian religion is completely
without followers. In Japan, for example, only one percent
of the people identify themselves as Christian. But the spirit
of Santa Claus and gift-giving has made Christmas a time
for Japanese children to look forward to. Everywhere, the
spirit of Santa Claus seems to play a larger role than the
Incarnation -- in the sense of the excitement, and the joy
surrounding Christmas. Like clockwork, every year around
Christmas, Santa Claus receives some hard criticism from
persons who feel strongly that the season has become
under-spiritualized, and over-commercialized. Like
clockwork, every year at this time, the slogan "Put Christ
back in Christmas,"  reappears. Of course, the true meaning
of Christmas has been taken out of context in this sense.

For Christians, the main emphasis in our celebration is that
we have received something beautiful from God. This God,
who is the Sovereign Creator, Sustainer and Lord of Life
has taken the initiative to reveal His love for us. He has done
this not in some abstract, general way, but in a very concrete,
specific human way. He has revealed the fullness of His love
through Jesus the Christ. We celebrate this event because
God's love for us in Jesus Christ is the source of our hope,
our joy and our peace.


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