Matthew 24:37-38 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,

Seeing the signs of the times

No leaves on the trees, lawn looks like it could be mowed

Talk of golf or water-skiing

Is it spring or is it fall?

Hear talk about the end of the world, and a need to repent

Watch someone build a big boat nowhere near the water

Building goes on for 100 years

After someoneís been talking about the end of the world for 100 years

Do you listen? Or do you say, Heís been talking about it for 100 years, if it hasnít happened yet, it ainít gonna happen!

It seems from what Iíve seen, its either the time of year end truck savings, or its Christmas, those are the things I hear about. And Advent just doesnít fit into the worldís picture.

And perhaps thatís the point, repentance and preparation did not fit into the picture for the rest of the world in Noahís day, and soon there was no more rest of the world, they all perished.

So also, we observe Advent as a time of repentance and preparation, even if the rest of the world thinks us just about as odd as Noah.

Why are we engaging in such activity?

For the same reason that Noah did, God has told us to prepare, not for a flood, but for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory, come to judge the living and the dead. Those who are not ready, will find themselves like the rest of the world was in Noahís time, for those who are not ready will perish!

So we prepare, not certain if Christ will return this year or 100 years from now, we prepare, that we might be found prepared, we prepare, because not only has God called us to prepare, but he has called us to work with him to prepare others. And when we are prepared, and the end is not yet, at least we are prepared to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas,

You see if we are prepared, then we know all about Godís love for us, and how God was moved to send his son to be our Savior, born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem. And is more than the son of God come to us, showing us the way of salvation, but it is the Son of God who dies for us, paying the debt we owed on account of sin. It is the Son of God sending the Spirit to create faith in our hearts, that we might become a new creation, no longer condemned sinners, but by grace through faith, the very children of God.

And that is why we observe Advent, Christmas is too important to rush into. We want to prepare ourselves, and we know we need to help others to get ready. For the signs are all there, but sometimes people canít quite read them right.

We know that those who are saved, will be saved by the race of God through faith. We know we cannot believe on behalf of others. But seeing that we have heard the voice of God call us to prepare, perhaps by our example others also might heed the call. And that is why we have Advent, 4 weeks of preparation and repentance for the coming of the Savior, or the coming of Christmas, which ever comes first.