Keynotes – November 2016

Our recent trip to Florida for PLI was great for learning in many ways, one in particular I didn’t expect! What was a greater surprise was that it relates to all of especially this time of year as we prepare for our annual celebration of our Lord’s Birth. (Ok, it’s not quite time for Advent yet, but maybe we need the time to get ready… Read on.)

I think it started before we arrived. We were well aware of Hurricane Matthew before we left California. If it wasn’t the first day, clearly by the second there was nothing on the local TV stations but coverage of the hurricane. The coverage was so exhaustive that they didn’t cut to a commercial break for days. (Some of the newscasters didn’t leave, particularly on Thursday and Friday as there was a curfew and they were not allowed to leave the building.) They were slap-happy before going to a regular schedule on Friday night.

What’s that got to do with you? Well, the message that was coming across was all too close to the message you hear when it comes to earthquakes. Prepare! (Or, be prepared) How many of us have 3 gallons of water per person for 3 days in our homes? Do we have medications, food, a wrench to turn off the gas, etc.?

For several days the governor of Florida was saying the same thing to anyone who would listen, “Get out! Go to higher ground. People are going to die.” We didn’t know that we were going to be there. Our plane was scheduled to leave the day before the hurricane, so we thought we were fine. It did get our attention that we were well within the potential path, but we were not planning on being there.

When our flights were cancelled on Thursday and we couldn’t schedule a flight until AFTER the hurricane was gone, our attitude changed. We too went out to get some food and huddled in our hotel.

How do people prepare for an earthquake? How do they prepare for a hurricane? How do people prepare for Jesus to return?

The difference in knowing that a hurricane was coming, or like in St. Louis that a tornado was coming is interesting because you have time to react while it is on the way. You can fool around and wait until the last minute! But with an earthquake, you need to be ready, everyday. As we prepare for Jesus to return, will we wait for the last minute or will we be prepared? In case it’s not clear already, Jesus is coming and it will happen without any further warning. Let’s be ready.