28th November 2021: Advent I

The news for us is twofold: the first is that the church will not be able to meet after this week because we hire the town hall and the city council will not let us because COVID and because we won’t do vaccine passes. Thanksgiving is not something that Kiwis do, but it is worth nothing that Advent starts this week and that is a time of contemplation. Perhaps that is why the shops are starting their annual drive, made more intense by the fact most of them have been closed — in Auckland, at least — for a season. We have been getting things before the new COVID framework comes into place, adn we cannot meet or do “the things that make summe: without government permission. Which we will not do. Unlike Stacey McCain, I cannot visit by grandchildren unless vaccinated becasue they live in a land ruled by Trudeau. Trudeau makes Jabsinda look sane. And intelligent.

We spent Thursday on the road, down I-81 and then went through the Smoky Mountains on I-26 before heading south into north Georgia, near the site of America’s first gold rush, to spend the holiday weekend with all of our kids and grandchildren — that’s six kids, one son-in-law, three daughters-in-law, one girlfriend, and five grandchildren. That’s a total of 18 people, plus both of my brothers, a good-sized crowd of McCains.

While I was out on the road, the news kept happening

What is on the news? The coming of Christ? The need to repent and reflect? No. It is a scandal in the opposition and a new COVID variant. What is not reported is that epople are no longer believing the news.

Chris was not born into this earth so we would hide away, and be regulated by a state who hates Christ into how we worship him. We do not need to give a pinch of incence, or produce a vaccine pass, to meet with God.

We are called instead, by God, to meet.

And we shall.

Collect One
Almighty God,
Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness,
and put upon us the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which thy Son Jesus Christ
came to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty
to judge both the quick and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who liveth and reigneth with thee
and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.

Jeremiah 33:14-16

14 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Luke 21:25-36

25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

A couple of sentences on the COVID. The virus is not the issue. Yes, like all respiratory illnesses, some will die. The marketing of the vaccine as a panacea is now clearly wrong. But death means we are with Jesus, and life means we bring God the glory. I do not want to be apart from Kea, but I do want to not live my life by the fear programmed, made compulsory by our leaders. Fear is slavery, and Christ came to make us free.

These kind of fears indicate we are getting closer to the end. But there have been such before — even worse, such as smallpox or the black death. We have lived through that.

What is different now is that our rulers don’t seem to care if they are caught in the lies. It does not matter, provided we fear the virus rather than hate them.

So we are being manipulated, gaslit.

As with the Soviets, we know that the official narrative is a lie, so we use rumours to find the truth.

And in this season, we realize that the battle is not political or economic or psychological: it is spiritual. We need the armour of God, but much more important, we need to remain awake.

This world wants us asleep. We will then be sleepily manipulated so we let the world damn us.

But Christ came for one reason, to seek and save the lost. Which we are quite aware we were once. Praise God that he sought us and called us to him.

May we continue to say this and write this. So that all may know that our true LORD is not the current secular ruler, but Jesus Christ.