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Hi,  I am glad you all came for this Sunday's Kids Camp re-union Sunday. It's a special day too.
Today is the first day of what we call "Advent". Advent is when we begin the celebrations that lead up to Christmas, and every Sunday, we remember something about Jesus and what it meant for Him to be born into the world.

A few weeks ago at Thanksgiving, there was a wind storm and  the power went out at my house. The turkey was almost cooked, but not quite. The potatoes and other vegetables were not quite ready either. People were asked to bring the food cooked, but they hadn't been prepared and decided to do the cooking at my house. And the pumpkin pie needed . . .

Luke 21:25-36

Hi,  I am glad you all came for this Sunday's Kids Camp re-union Sunday. It's a special day too.
Today is the first day of what we call "Advent". Advent is when we begin the celebrations that lead up to Christmas, and every Sunday, we remember something about Jesus and what it meant for Him to be born into the world.

A few weeks ago at Thanksgiving, there was a wind storm and  the power went out at my house. The turkey was almost cooked, but not quite. The potatoes and other vegetables were not quite ready either. People were asked to bring the food cooked, but they hadn't been prepared and decided to do the cooking at my house. And the pumpkin pie needed to be heated.
But fortunately we were well stocked with candles and I had a couple of instant logs for the fireplace.
We used the candles for lighting once it got dark, and the fireplace gave off lots of light and some heat too.
Finally we went to Little Caesar's and ordered pizza for the ten of us. I heated the pies on the gas fireplace in the family room so it worked out ok. There are always candles and batteries in the flashlight in case the power goes out.

You all know that here on the west coast we live where earthquakes happen.
Have you ever felt one?
I remember the big one that hit Seattle a while ago. We could feel it here because we are not far away. I felt the room go shaky, shaky. Nothing was damaged, but we all knew it was an earthquake.
People in the emergency preparedness office give out a list of things you should do to be prepared in case of a big earthquake.
Does anyone here know if they are prepared?

I have to confess that if we  couldn't get to grocery stores for days, or if there was no power or gas for days I wouldn't be ready. I think I had better get one of those pamphlets and see what I have to do to get ready.

I told you that we start preparing for Christmas celebrations at the beginning of what we call Advent. That is four weeks before Christmas. What exactly are we preparing for?

Well we are preparing for the time when we remember that Jesus came into the world as a little baby. I am not sure that anyone knew that was what God was going to do. People thought he would come, but I don't think anyone was prepared for the idea of how he was going to arrive. Certainly no one knew he would be born in a stable the way he was. I wonder if God likes surprises the way we like to buy presents and keep it a surprise?   I wouldn't be surprised if God did like to do that.

So when Jesus was born and the angels told shepherds who he really was, it was a big surprise. A very big surprise.
Herod, the king was surprised, but not happy.
The shepherds were surprised and a little frightened by the angels they saw, but I think afterward they were probably happy.
Some people were happy, some were not.
That's often the way it is with Jesus.

We read from the Bible this morning from a book called Luke. We read Jesus own words about being prepared for when he is going to come back again. He promised to do that, but he didn't tell us when. He just said, be prepared for when he does.
So at Advent this is a good time to remember that. We remember when we celebrate God's surprise in sending Jesus as a baby.

And we remember that he promised to come back again.
So we need to be ready for that.
Ok, so how do we get ready?

Well, candles and batteries and drinking water aren't what he had in mind, though they are good to have around.
What he had in mind is that most of all we should not forget that he is going to come back.
And when we remember that, then we live so that when he does come back he will be happy with us, as much as we will be happy with him.

The simplest and easiest way is to invite him to join you in what you do every day.
The other is to remember that Jesus promised never to forget us or to leave us once we invite him to stay.

These are things we can remember and that we can thank God for.
Lets give God thanks by praying:

Lord, we thank you for sending us Jesus to teach us about you and to bring your love to us. Thank you that he died for us so that we could always be with you. Help us to remember and to invite you each and every day to share our lives.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Preached
Dr. Harold McNabb
West Shore Presbyterian Church
Victoria, British Columbia
Email Harold McNabb

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