Posted by George Morrison

Carol services all over these islands will take a hit as millions stay glued to the telly as Olly and Joey battle it out in the final of the X factor. From an alleged 200,000 entrants the numbers are whittled down by a combination of judges’ decisions and the volume of calls from the fans in favour of their chosen performer. Tonight its either Olly or Joey. The programme to tap into the latent desire of people to achieve fame and fortune. The lure of a fast ascent to stardom, coupled with the chance that it could be your favourite who succeeds, draws in both contestants and viewers. So far show was spawned six number one winner’s singles, two number one charity singles and in total 14 number one singles by contestants including winners and runners up. In Sunday night’s final, multiple advertising breaks will bombard the 20,000,000 viewers netting multi-million revenues from companies wishing to reach the largely young audience with their products. It’s a win/win situation all round as the cameras pull in the home crowd and a celebrity career beckons for all the finalists. According to the shows own definition of itself, the “X Factor” of the title refers to the indefinable “something” that makes for star quality. The Bible’s X Factor is Jesus. He too drew the crowds but not the cash. His fame was not in singing but in that definable something which separated him from everyone else who ever lived. He was, is and always will be the living God. In the words of St John, “He has made God known”. This knowledge, St John tells us is eternal life. The fact that Joey beat Olly will soon be forgotten by all but the keenest fans. The fact the Jesus triumphed by his cross to demonstrate God’s love for his own will never be forgotten. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” St John chapter 3 verse 16.