Summary: Advent is a season of waiting for the coming of Christ. He came as a baby, and now we are waiting for His second coming.

A. How wonderful it is to gather together to worship Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

1. If you are visiting with us today we extend to you a warm welcome and hope that your experience with us and the Lord today will be a blessed one.

B. I thought we might start with something on the light side. I’ve gathered a few pictures that I think you will enjoy.

1. As you know we received a lot of snow over the last couple of weeks. (show slide) Here’s a picture of a heavy snow accumulation. I’m sure it looks that way on the Tug Hill Plateau every winter.

2. (show slide) I saw a lot of cars looking like this, this week, including my own at times. I don’t know if you can see the license plate, so let me enlarge it (show slide). The vanity plate reads “Lazy.” Who would have known?

3. (show slide) I got a kick out of this picture. Maybe they should change the sign in the winter to say, “Caution: Slide may be slippery.” Or “do not put your tongue on the metal slide.”

4. (show blank slide) You’ve seen train crossing signs, deer crossing signs, and pedestrian crossing signs. (Show slide) But I’ll bet you’ve never seen a Santa Crossing sign.

5. (show blank slide) If you are looking for a great gift for your computer geek, I’ve got just the gift for you. (Show slide) The Bathtub Computer Table. Beware of waves and splashing.

6. (show blank slide) What is the one gift that nobody likes? (Show Slide) Poor fruitcakes!

C. Did you catch the story this week about the Christmas card that arrived just a little late?

1. (show slide) This postcard featuring a color drawing of Santa Claus and a young girl was mailed in 1914, but its journey was slower than Christmas - It just arrived in northwest Kansas.

2. The Christmas card was dated Dec. 23, 1914, and mailed to Ethel Martin of Oberlin, apparently from her cousins in Alma, Nebraska.

3. It’s a mystery where it spent most of the last century, Oberlin Postmaster Steve Schultz said. “It’s surprising that it never got thrown away,” he said. “How someone found it, I don’t know.”

4. Ethel Martin, who was supposed to receive the card is deceased, but Schultz said the post office wanted to get the card to a relative.

5. That’s how the 93-year-old relic ended up with Bernice Martin, Ethel’s sister-in-law.

6. Bernice said she believed the card had been found somewhere in Illinois. “That’s all we know,” she said. “But it is kind of curious. We’d like to know how it got down there. But wherever they kept it, it was in perfect shape.”

7. The card was placed inside another envelope with modern postage for the trip to Oberlin — the one-cent postage of the early 20th century wouldn’t have covered it, Martin said.

8. Ethel Martin may have waited for that card from her cousins and may have wondered why it never arrived.

9. In many ways, Christmas is all about waiting.

D. The countdown to Christmas started well before Thanksgiving, and with each passing day the excitement and preparations for its arrival have been accelerating.

1. The lights and decorations have been put up, the stores are full, and the music is filling the air.

2. How many of you have enjoyed Advent Calendars over the years?

3. Our girls always enjoyed opening a new door each day, especially when there is a piece of chocolate behind each door. Their Aunt Anita often provides them with the calendar.

4. But as each day passed, they were one day closer to Christmas.

E. Ask most children what the coming of Christmas means, and who and what they are waiting for, and they will tell you that they are waiting for a visit from the jolly fellow with a white beard, red suit, and a sack full of presents.

1. The Christmas Holiday songs have been with us for so long and we have heard them so often that we know them well.

2. One of people’s favorites is “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” which debuted in 1934.

3 You remember the words, don’t you?

4. “Oh! You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I’m telling you why:Santa Claus is coming to town!”

“He’s making a list, He’s checking it twice, Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town!”

“He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, So be good for goodness sake!”

5. For many people, kids included, Christmas is about waiting for Santa to come to town.

6. But let me tell you, the One whose coming I’m looking forward to won’t be coming from the North Pole with 8 reindeer and a sleigh.

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