Saturday, December 12, 2009

X-Factor at Xmas: Who's Got Your Vote?

So it's the final weekend of X Factor 2009 (or as Dermot mistakenly said in one of the links from the adverts "Welcome back to the X Factor 2008 Final!"). Stacey has been eliminated and just two acts remain: Olly Murs and Joe Mcelderry. Who will win? As UTV ask: Who are U voting for?

In the press, blogs and Facebook updates (particularly from William Crawley) there is plenty of discussion surrounding who has the X Factor. Whether it be their singing ability (or lack of, in the case of Jedward), their looks, their dancing, their entertainment potential, their flexibility or whatever, do they have the X Factor? I think Joe will win, but we'll see tomorrow night.

The X Factor raises lots of discussion. That X is the all important factor, the element that makes it all worthwhile. The thing that distinguishes the haves from the hasbeens. Reminds me of another X which causes discussion.

There is always a big fuss about people referring to Xmas. We need to keep Christ in Christmas, we're told, and so Facebook protest groups abound, and letters to the press. But did you know that Jesus is still in Xmas? In fact, it may even have been Christians who first used the shortened version, using the X or Chi, the first letter of Christos (Christ in Greek). So Xmas is still Christmas.

The X is a reminder of the Christ at the heart of Christmas, without whom there wouldn't even be a Christmas to celebrate. The X reminds us that, rather than the X Factor, Jesus has the Christ factor, God's Son, God's promised King. This is what separates and distinguishes Jesus from any other religious figure, the thing that makes it all worthwhile.

Jesus, the Saviour of the world is born, to grow up and die to save his people, freely offering God's grace to all who will receive it. The one whom crowds flock to hear preaching, who heals the sick and raises the dead to life. The one who dies that we might live. That's the real Xtra Factor, the X Factor at the heart of Xmas. So Merry Christmas, one and all!

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