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A reading from Luke 2:8-20 in the New Commercialized Version of the New Testament. “And there were in the great country to the north, children keeping watch over their stockings by the fireplace. And Lo, Santa Claus came upon them and they were sore afraid. And Santa said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people – who can afford them. For unto you will be given a great feast of turkey, dressing and cake; and many presents, wrapped in bright paper lying beneath a tree adorned with tinsel, colored balls and lights. And suddenly, there will be with you a multitude of relatives and friends, praising you and saying “Thank you so much for the gift. It was just what I wanted.” And it shall come to pass as the friends and relatives have gone away into their own homes, the parents shall say to one another, “Hmm, what a mess to clean up! I’m tired, let’s go to bed and pick it up tomorrow. Thank goodness Christmas only comes once a year! And they went with haste to their cold bed and found their desired rest.”
Well it is Christmas Eve 2017. You have survived another season of busyness and frenzy so you can rest tomorrow and then get after the Boxing Day Deals on Tuesday. Yes, the Christmas season has become a multi billion dollar industry. But I don’t think the first Christmas was all this buying and wrapping. I don’t think many would dispute that buying and giving gifts is not the central message of Christmas. But what is? If all the extras were stripped away and we were left only with the core, what would remain? If we could share the central core of Christmas to someone tonight what would it be?
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