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From the December 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal

As The Christmas season draws near, millions of people will make earnest efforts to focus on the saving Christ. Some will build creches. Others will give gifts, attend church services, try harder to follow Jesus' example, or just simply pray. But how many will actually recognize the Savior? The question is important because so often people have aimed to understand God's saving truth and have missed it. Why? At least in part, because the forces of materialism would obscure a clear and lasting glimpse of it.

Moses caught views of the divine presence, yet his efforts to persuade the people of God's saving reality seemed repeatedly thwarted. When he tried, for instance, to help them see a saving influence in the ten divinely impelled commands, their interests were drawn instead to what? A golden calf.

Christ Jesus' entrance into and out of human experience was so dramatic that the Savior seemed impossible to miss. That is, those of us who are Christians would think it hard to miss. But for some early historians, Jesus' thirty-three years merited barely a footnote. Here was a little-known preacher who crossed the authorities, was crucified, and left behind rumors about rising from the grave. Most people missed the Savior. And during those beginning Christian centuries, many who did catch a glimpse, found it eroding with time. Ritual and ceremony prevailed and a worship of Jesus' personality overtook a consistent demonstration of the saving Christ. But this clouding by materialism didn't completely have its way. The Comforter was on its way.