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Well, here we are again, Advent. It is a word that means “coming.” As the world is celebrating with lots of candies, food, parties, big birds stuffed with stuffing carved and piled high, and all the shopping, we, on the other hand, gather in our Churches to hear about how the world is coming to an end (cue Matchbox 20 here). We come to hear how there will be great tribulation, how we will see signs and wonders, the fig tree will be our cue. electricity news in nigeria Down right scary at first blush!

We put out the same color that we put out at Lent. It is no accident. In Lent, we will think deeply about our sin. We will give up something to remind us that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We will be truly penitent and go to confession (I said, “Go. To. Confession.”). It all moves along until we hear the story of the death of Christ and it crescendos into the glorious and magnificent resurrection. e85 gas stations in ohio Then, we celebrate. Alleluia’s all around.

My mother, who sold real estate for 35 years as I have said before, used to impart to me bits of wisdom. “The person who says a number first loses,” she said of negotiation. Another pearl from mama is this, “the one who stays calm in the negotiation will come out with the best deal.” Think about it, the person who has a plan, keeps cool, and executes the plan is the person who has a clear head, is not moved to make emotional purchases of real estate. Although, another pearl she said is that “real estate is an emotional investment. Sell the emotional and it will pay off.”

There will be a great purge of the Heavens and the earth. If not in reality, those who are to be judged harshly will make if feel like the heavens are torn in two and the storm surge is drowning us all. Those who will want to hold onto this reality with everything they’ve got are those whose being on top depends upon their earthly dominance. If we have learned anything from all the wars we have been in over the millennia, no one wants to give up their hold on anything without a fight.

The Evil One will make the enticements of straying from God even more enticing. electricity use He will make the life of sin and its contradictions seem like it is only logical, when it is not logical at all. If there is one thing we know about the Devil, it is that he keeps his foot on the gas. He finds those in rebellion and leads them down the false path. That is why we have the Gospel of Woodstock as the moral exemplar of our age.

In the midst of all this subterfuge of reality, we, who believe the body is something to be treasured and treated with sanctity, who believe that truth is important, who believe that there are patterns of life that lead us to stability for our children, stability for our spouses, it can seem like the heavens are being torn in two in this age and any age. We can stick out like little nerdy two shoes amongst all the cool kids.

What is our response to all this discombobulation? Do we run and hide? Remember Y2K when the computers weren’t built to go beyond 1999 and we thought the entire economic system was going to collapse? People were buying properties in gauntlet positions in the mountains, storing up dry goods, and installing life support systems of their own.

We do not believe in that kind of nonsense. We don’t believe in it because Christ is our King. He is our King and we know that when the judgment comes, those who are going to be judge negatively are not going to want to reap what they have sown. We know that our treasure is not in mountain garrison hideaways, not in securing our own needs and future. Our treasure is in heaven. Our treasure is in the way we live our lives in honesty, integrity, purity, kindness, goodness, sharing what we have, regardless of how the world treats us.

Every week, we gather to enter as a community into the Heavenly Kingdom in our worship, in our encounter with Jesus the Christ becoming one with us in the Eucharist. We gather to remind ourselves that there are others who know what it means to deny ourselves and live a life for the One who gave us life, sustains our life, and redeems our life every moment, every day.

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust, yet the love of the Lord and the Lord himself will stand. gas efficient cars under 5000 When he does, mourning and crying will be no more, pain and dying will be no more and the Lord our God will wipe every tear from our eyes. The bullies will be gone. The jerk bosses will be gone. The manipulative spouses will be gone. The financial privilege of the few will be gone. The living pay check to pay check will be gone. The genocide, the racism, the wars, the famine, the pestilence, the holocausts, all of it will, be, gone.

We, who celebrate the coming of the Lord, the Advent of the Christ, we who are the people who will bear the mark of the living God on our foreheads, we know the plan. So, when all of this stuff starts to happen, or is happening already, we need to take a powder. We are not to run to the mountains to hide. No, that is not what we who believe do. We do the opposite, says Jesus in the Gospel of Luke: “now when these things take place, look up, raise your heads, for your redemption is near.” Like mama said, “the one who stays calm in the negotiation will come out with the best deal.”

As everyone else is looking toward the baby in the manger, we are reminded of what can happen at any moment. We are reminded of the Christian end game: a new heaven and a new earth without all the garbage that humanity makes for each other and with Jesus coming to make it happen. gas vs electric stove Make it happen, Jesus! Make it happen! I want there to be the new heaven and new earth, don’t you?