Meditations for the Fourth Week of Advent

Here are the meditations for the fourth week of Advent.  You can find the third week’s meditations here.

Photo Credit: Janicskovsky via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Janicskovsky via Compfight cc

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Meditation and Prayer

For Meditation:

  • Isaiah 32:1-18; 35:1-end
  • Luke 1:26-45
  • Rev. 22:6-end (optional)

Prayer for the Fourth Week of Advent:

Purify our consciences, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Advent Tree:  Catechism Review

Use this day to review the Advent Catechism.

Advent Catechism:

  1. Why is Jesus the Light of the World?  Because He brings us out of the dark and into the Light of His Kingdom.
  2. Why is Jesus the Serpent-Crusher?  Because He crushed the head of Satan by dying on the Cross.
  3. Why is Jesus the Ark of Salvation?  Because He saves us from the flood of punishment our sins deserve.
  4. Why is Jesus the Promise of Abram?  Because He blesses all the families of the earth.
  5. Why is Jesus the Lamb of Isaac?  Because He died in our place.
  6. Why is Jesus the Ladder of Jacob?  Because He takes care of us always, even when we sleep.
  7. Why is Jesus the Coat of Joseph?  Because He was torn and bloodied in our place.
  8. Why is Jesus the New Moses?  Because He teaches us God’s commands and makes us able to obey them.
  9. Why is Jesus the New Joshua?  Because He is our Captain, who leads us in battle and brings peace to the Land.
  10. Why is Jesus the New Boaz?  Because He rescues and protects us.
  11. Why is Jesus the New David?  Because He also is a Shepherd-King, who kills the Giants that threaten His people.
  12. Why is Jesus the New Solomon?  Because He is the Wise King who blesses all the families of the earth.
  13. Why is Jesus the Branch of Jesse?  Because He rules with justice and faithfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  14. Why is Jesus the Lion and the Lamb?  Because He alone will bring lasting peace to the world.
  15. Why is Jesus the Prince of Peace?  Because He makes peace with all things by the blood of His cross.
  16. Why is Jesus the Great Shepherd?  Because He lays down His life for His sheep—and takes it up again.
  17. Why is Jesus the Suffering Servant?  Because He saves His people by suffering their punishment in their place.
  18. Why is Jesus the Exile of Israel?  Because He is sent far from God in order to bring His people near to God.
  19. Why is Jesus the Returning Exile?  Because He returns from afar to inherit a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Fourth Monday in Advent

Meditation and Prayer

For Meditation:

  • Isaiah 46-47
  • Mark 10:32-end
  • 3 John (optional)

Prayer for the Fourth Week of Advent:

Purify our consciences, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Advent Tree:  Jesus is the House of Bread

Scripture:  Micah 5:2; Luke 2:1-7; John 6:30-35

Meditation: 

Isaiah wasn’t the only prophet to tell of Jesus.  Micah, a prophet in Judah, gave the prophecy that the Great King would come from the town of Bethlehem.  Though Bethlehem was a tiny town, it was important because it was the birthplace of King David.  And it would also be the birthplace of the Great ‘ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days’ (Micah 5:2).

Bethlehem became the birthplace of Jesus, the Great King that Isaiah and Micah talked about.  Though Jesus’ parents were living in Nazareth, Joseph was actually from Bethlehem.  When the ruler of the Jews required all his subjects to be registered, Joseph and Mary journeyed to Joseph’s birthplace of Bethlehem.  While they were there, Mary gave birth to Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy Micah gave many years earlier.

‘Bethlehem’ in Hebrew actually means ‘House of Bread.’  This makes Bethlehem the ideal place for the Great King to be born.  Jesus later preached to many people, telling them that He was ‘the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’ (John 6:35).

Jesus comes from Bethlehem for several reasons.  First, it is the birthplace of King David, and Jesus is the Greater David.  Second, it is a small town, and Jesus is the Suffering Servant, who grew up before the face of God but was despised by men.  Third, Bethlehem is the House of Bread, and from one of its tiny mangers came the Bread of Life, who gives eternal life to all who partake of Him.

Jesus is the House of Bread because He was born in Bethlehem to be the Bread of Life.

Advent Tree Ornament:  a loaf of bread

Inscription:  “The House of Bread”

Advent Catechism:

  1. Why is Jesus the Light of the World?  Because He brings us out of the dark and into the Light of His Kingdom.
  2. Why is Jesus the Serpent-Crusher?  Because He crushed the head of Satan by dying on the Cross.
  3. Why is Jesus the Ark of Salvation?  Because He saves us from the flood of punishment our sins deserve.
  4. Why is Jesus the Promise of Abram?  Because He blesses all the families of the earth.
  5. Why is Jesus the Lamb of Isaac?  Because He died in our place.
  6. Why is Jesus the Ladder of Jacob?  Because He takes care of us always, even when we sleep.
  7. Why is Jesus the Coat of Joseph?  Because He was torn and bloodied in our place.
  8. Why is Jesus the New Moses?  Because He teaches us God’s commands and makes us able to obey them.
  9. Why is Jesus the New Joshua?  Because He is our Captain, who leads us in battle and brings peace to the Land.
  10. Why is Jesus the New Boaz?  Because He rescues and protects us.
  11. Why is Jesus the New David?  Because He also is a Shepherd-King, who kills the Giants that threaten His people.
  12. Why is Jesus the New Solomon?  Because He is the Wise King who blesses all the families of the earth.
  13. Why is Jesus the Branch of Jesse?  Because He rules with justice and faithfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  14. Why is Jesus the Lion and the Lamb?  Because He alone will bring lasting peace to the world.
  15. Why is Jesus the Prince of Peace?  Because He makes peace with all things by the blood of His cross.
  16. Why is Jesus the Great Shepherd?  Because He lays down His life for His sheep—and takes it up again.
  17. Why is Jesus the Suffering Servant?  Because He saves His people by suffering their punishment in their place.
  18. Why is Jesus the Exile of Israel?  Because He is sent far from God in order to bring His people near to God.
  19. Why is Jesus the Returning Exile?  Because He returns from afar to inherit a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
  20. Why is Jesus the House of Bread?  Because He was born in Bethlehem to become the Bread of Life.

 Fourth Tuesday in Advent

Meditation and Prayer

For Meditation:

  • Isaiah 48-49:7
  • Mark 11
  • Jude (optional)

Prayer for the Fourth Week of Advent:

Purify our consciences, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Advent Tree:  Jesus is the Light of Redemption

Scripture:  Luke 1:26-38, 46-55; 2:25-35

Meditation: 

Yesterday we talked about how the prophet Micah promised that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the great ruler that had been promised many, many times in the Old Testament.  Hundreds of years after Micah spoke this promise, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a son, who ‘will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High’ (Luke 1:32).  Gabriel also said that this child, whom Mary was to name Jesus, would be given ‘the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).

Do you recognize some of the Old Testament promises in what Gabriel said?  Mary certainly did.  A short while later Mary sang a famous song to praise God, because he was finally fulfilling all the promises he had made in the Old Testament.  The baby she was carrying was the promised One of Israel.  Through him, God was bringing mercy and justice to his people.  God had ‘brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:52).  Many people in Israel had waited and prayed a long time for God to fulfill his promises of redemption—and He was finally doing just that!

One of these faithful Israelites was a man named Simeon, a righteous and devout man.  God had told Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah promised by the prophets.  When Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the temple, Simeon holds him in his arms and sings another hymn of praise to God.  He rejoices that God has brought him peace, for he has seen the one who would be ‘a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel’ (Luke 2:32).  Like Mary, Simeon knew the prophets’ promises well enough to know that Jesus was the both the Consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25) and the light of salvation for the Gentiles!

Jesus, the Promised King, was born to a poor family.  He was born in stable, and had a cattle trough for his first crib.  His first audience had more animals in it than people.  But with his birth, the center of the universe shifted from the proud and powerful palaces of Herod and Caesar Augustus to the humble and overlooked edge of Bethlehem.

Jesus is the Light of Redemption for all people, because he fulfills all of God’s promises to all Israelites and Gentiles.

Advent Tree Ornament:  a lit candle

Inscription:  “The Light of Redemption”

Advent Catechism:

  1. Why is Jesus the Light of the World?  Because He brings us out of the dark and into the Light of His Kingdom.
  2. Why is Jesus the Serpent-Crusher?  Because He crushed the head of Satan by dying on the Cross.
  3. Why is Jesus the Ark of Salvation?  Because He saves us from the flood of punishment our sins deserve.
  4. Why is Jesus the Promise of Abram?  Because He blesses all the families of the earth.
  5. Why is Jesus the Lamb of Isaac?  Because He died in our place.
  6. Why is Jesus the Ladder of Jacob?  Because He takes care of us always, even when we sleep.
  7. Why is Jesus the Coat of Joseph?  Because He was torn and bloodied in our place.
  8. Why is Jesus the New Moses?  Because He teaches us God’s commands and makes us able to obey them.
  9. Why is Jesus the New Joshua?  Because He is our Captain, who leads us in battle and brings peace to the Land.
  10. Why is Jesus the New Boaz?  Because He rescues and protects us.
  11. Why is Jesus the New David?  Because He also is a Shepherd-King, who kills the Giants that threaten His people.
  12. Why is Jesus the New Solomon?  Because He is the Wise King who blesses all the families of the earth.
  13. Why is Jesus the Branch of Jesse?  Because He rules with justice and faithfulness in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  14. Why is Jesus the Lion and the Lamb?  Because He alone will bring lasting peace to the world.
  15. Why is Jesus the Prince of Peace?  Because He makes peace with all things by the blood of His cross.
  16. Why is Jesus the Great Shepherd?  Because He lays down His life for His sheep—and takes it up again.
  17. Why is Jesus the Suffering Servant?  Because He saves His people by suffering their punishment in their place.
  18. Why is Jesus the Exile of Israel?  Because He is sent far from God in order to bring His people near to God.
  19. Why is Jesus the Returning Exile?  Because He returns from afar to inherit a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
  20. Why is Jesus the House of Bread?  Because He was born in Bethlehem to become the Bread of Life.
  21. Why is Jesus is the Light of Redemption?  Because he fulfills all of God’s promises to all Israelites and Gentiles.