Summary: Gorped, To stare wide eyed at something, jaw hanging down in amazement. Please feel free to use this word, you will not likely find it in dictionaries, but is in reasonably common use in New Zealand. The King has been forecast for thousands of years. Man

Forecast King! Advent

Last weekend, the long weekend on the Friday along with what must have been most of the population of the South Island, Rochelle and her parents and I went to the A[griculture] & P[astoral] Show. We did all the standard show stuff, the watching balloons drifting heavenward from the carnival area, in the knowledge that at their journeys beginning was a small child whose flushed face was covered in disappointment and tears. We stood in line for what seemed like ages for the feast of the day ‘hotdogs and chips’, the profits from which went to the Landon Creek bird sanctuary in Oamaru. We stood gazing in wonder at new born lambs, and gorpped in amazement at a massive Charolaise Bull who was pip’t at the post by a Friesian dairy cow for supreme animal in show. We checked out some really cool stuff, here is a photo of my favourite sheep breed the dear old Merino, this Ram was a really well behaved bloke. There was also this vintage steam truck. We ate candy floss and got questioned by a young lady who was doing a survey about Jesus, I checked out Persian carpets, we brought a fancy knife sharpener for $25.00 and got a $17.00 grater free, now that’s a bargain. We discovered that you can sell one potato for $4.20 if you cut it in a spiral and deep fry it on a stick, now that’s cleaver marketing. All up it was a really good event, very enjoyable.

The highlight of the day for most though would have been a bloke and his wife who were visiting from the UK, no ordinary bloke mind you – His Royal Highness Prince Charles the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall were there. There with the Prime Minister and his smile. Around them was a massive crowd of people, women in high heels all dressed up to the nines, it was highly entertaining watching; watching these ladies dodging what the animals in the grand parade had left behind as they made their way across the grounds, with the heels sinking into the soil and processed animal food.

But back to the Prince, this was the first time I had encountered his highness in the flesh, I was probably about a stone’s throw away, though I wouldn’t give it a go; there was security all over the show. Well I didn’t get close but I know a few people who did. Catherine took this photo, now that’s close. She posted it on facebook and might be a bit surprised to see it here today. Louis my son was close enough to hear a vendor call out, “Do you want a free ice-cream mate?” to which the prince replied “No thank you, I think I’ll be alright.” His Royal Highness certainly has class. It was nice to see the royals at their tasks after their long anticipated arrival. They certainly made an impact on the people around them.

Now you may be wondering where this is going. Well this is the first week of advent which is the way Christians talk about the five weeks of wind up to Christmas. Christmas the arrival ‘a king’ in fact the King of Kings, sorry Prince Charles, you’re not King yet.

The thing about this King of King’s bloke, with Jesus birth in Bethlehem is that this was a long awaited event; it wasn’t something that just happened one silent night, when all was calm and all was bright and nothing as stirring not even a mouse. This was a long waited event and had been looked forward to and prophesied for a very - very long time. The birth of a righteous king, a promised king who would rule with the authority of God. An example of this kings coming is from the book of Jeremiah, we read: Jeremiah 33:14-16

“ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

“ ‘In those days and at that time

I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;

he will do what is just and right in the land.

In those days Judah will be saved

and Jerusalem will live in safety.

This is the name by which it will be called:

The LORD Our Righteous Savior.’

This part of scripture is a pointer, a forecast to this great event. An event like Prince Charles visit that was planned. But not planned by human design but the design of God.

Now a lot in this passage rests on the words “righteous Branch”. You might notice in your Bible that the word ‘Branch’ starts with a capital letter, this indicated it is a name, not a stick that grows out of the trunk of a tree. Jeremiah goes onto say that “he will do what is right and just in the land.” We all know where this is heading and that Jesus was that righteous branch from David’s line, he is a descendant of David, he is of the tribe of Judah, he’s some times referred to as the Lion of Judah; which is one of the twelve tribes of Israel and was for a time a nation in its own right way back when.

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