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"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" John 1.12

It's a wonderful thing! Gaelic has several onomatopoeic words - sgiobalta, bùrach, binn - as does English - sizzle, stretch, barmy - and balmy for that matter! All languages have them. Do they invite us to delve deeper into the objects, feelings, ideas they convey or does their very eloquence cause us to skip along, complacent in our assumption that we have got the drift?

The opening chapter of John's Gospel is a favourite at Christmas services. One might even venture that it is onomatopoeic of Christmas. But does its mesmeric quality arrest our attention or cause us to glaze over in a contented fuzz that the magic has returned and, for a day at least, we can shut out the world and luxuriate in a bubble of convivial indulgence?

God forbid! Think of the implication of the verse above alone; "to all who did receive him... he gave the right to become children of God." Wow! Surely this blows all other Christmas gifts out of the proverbial water? And yet the spirit of our politically correct age is to excise Christ from Christmas. No wonder so many wake up on Boxing Day with a sense of anticlimax, as well as a hangover.

Make sure you don't miss out. By all means do all the traditional things - send, cards, bake mince pies, exchange presents - but, as the cliche goes, do not forget "the reason for the season". God came to earth in Jesus, so that we might rise with Jesus to heaven, where we shall rule forever as princes and princesses, as befits the children of God who are brothers and sisters of the King. This Christmas - and every Christmas - make sure you reserve pride of place for Jesus.

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