Life on Court Square

Category Archives: Advent Meditations

  1. A good and better plan

    Read Isaiah 9:7 Of the greatness of his government and peace     there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne     and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it     with justice and righteousness     from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty     will accomplish this. Reflect This scripture describes that God has a better plan, a better covenant than that which existed in the Old Testament. This verse and the several that precede it do not tell us when, but rather something about what. A child will be born, the government will be upon this child’s shoulders, he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. In verse 7 we read on to learn there will be no end to his reign, he will come from the house of David and rule over God’s Kingdom with justice and righteousness from that time to eternity. In this season we celebrate the coming of the Savior who desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. This is indeed God’s gift, the Good News we celebrate this season and every season. Read I Timothy 2:1-7 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions,…

    Continue Reading

  2. The endurance of peace

    Read Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Reflect What an amazing passage of Scripture! I want to experience what these verses in Colossians describe: compassion, thankfulness, forgiveness, love and peace. I used to think peace was the presence of quietness and the absence of conflict. Please notice the past tense of this statement. I could never get real life to match this definition. My life is filled with conflict, chaos and messy situations….

    Continue Reading

  3. Joy, no matter what

    Read Philippians 4: 4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Reflection Ironically, this passage about joy was written by Paul from prison around A.D. 61. What an example! No circumstance or worldly challenge could take Paul’s joy because in the end he knew that Jesus was with him no matter what. Paul encourages us to not worry about anything but to pray. He also tells us not to put too much weight on our circumstances but to focus on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praise worthy. Prayer…

    Continue Reading

  4. From fear to peace

    Read John 13:31-18 Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! Reflect Here, Jesus tells his disciples they couldn’t go where He was going. They didn’t have the courage or stamina to accompany Him to the cross. They had followed Jesus for…

    Continue Reading

  5. Jesus, our comfort

    Read John 20:18-20 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Reflect This passage of Scripture tells us something we all need to hear: Jesus gives you His peace. Life can be chaotic, everyone always has something they need to do. We spend less time with God to make time for worldly things that we constantly worry about. But when God sees that you love Him, He comes to you and abides in you! The King James Version describes the Holy Spirit in this passage as “The Comforter.” When God abides in you, he comforts you and gives you peace, and reminds you of everything He has said. So do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. God is with you. Pray Father, we…

    Continue Reading

  6. Peace through the spirit

    Read Luke 2:21-35 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,     you may now dismiss your servant in…

    Continue Reading

  7. Christ, the Savior

    Read Luke 2:8-16 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,     and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. Reflect Scene I Night at fields just outside of David’s town Cast Shepherds, Angels of…

    Continue Reading

  8. What’s in a name?

    Read Isaiah 9:2-6 The people walking in darkness     have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness     a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation     and increased their joy; they rejoice before you     as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice     when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,     you have shattered the yoke that burdens them,     the bar across their shoulders,     the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle     and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning,     will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born,     to us a son is given,     and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called     Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Reflect There are few things as powerful as a name. Whether it’s one given by your parents or a nickname that serves as a term of endearment, names hold meaning for us. They provide identity and definition. They clarify to whom you are speaking. They indicate a direct connection between the one saying the name and the one whose name is being called upon….

    Continue Reading

  9. How can this be?

    Read Luke 1:26-35 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Reflect In these verses, Mary is informed by the angel Gabriel that she will conceive and…

    Continue Reading

  10. A dwelling place

    Read Ezekiel 37:24-28 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’” Reflect Have you heard the phrase, “I’ve found my people!” It’s used to convey a sense of belonging, or a place to be understood, just the way you are. In this passage hearing God say, “I will be their God, and they will be my people” is a comfort if we know we are included in that group! I wonder what it would take to have more people say this about…

    Continue Reading