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Archive for December 23rd, 2020


Wednesday, December 23, 2012

Psalm 84

God’s Court

Nesting Barn Swallows

Nesting Barn Swallows

Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 

In this brief last week of Advent we have little time to reflect on the coming nativity of one who is the keystone of our existence.  Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, La Nochebuena or “The Good Night” as the Spanish name this holy day. This year, as we struggle with the stress and anxiety brought on by a pandemic,  we can experience the quickness that is our lives in this last week that brings us to the celebration of Christmas.

Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 

One of the messages we hear continually in the Gospel parables is the need to be prepared. Jesus is forever reminding us of the importance of being good stewards of gifts God has given to us. We are repeatedly asked to be prepared for our own exodus. We are constantly told of the great value of the kingdom we are called to build with others. We are always asked to remain close to God no matter the circumstance. We might wonder why Jesus repeats this message so often and if so we need not look long for an answer.

As a sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, my home is by your altars, Lord of hosts, my King and my God! Happy are those who dwell in your house! They never cease to praise you.

We have no way of knowing our future no matter how hard we work at knowing. We have no eyes to see images of our lives a generation forward. We can only rely on God and God’s goodness to preserve and protect those who flock to him.

As a sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, my home is by your altars . . .

Chipping Sparrow Nest with Eggs

Chipping Sparrow Nest with Eggs

It is impossible to live the past again even if we want to right wrongs we have committed, even if we hope to heal wounds or change our crooked ways. We can only trust God and God’s mercy in forgiving all wrongs and transforming all transgressors.

As a sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, my home is by your altars . . .

We do not control our own destiny; we only control our reaction to the world and the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  We can only step forward as we answer the call we hear from God in our hearts.  We can only prepare a place for God’s presence in our lives.  We can only build our nest under the plinth of God’s altar and settle our young in the safe haven of God’s court.

Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 

As Advent draws so quickly to a close, we might feel the crush of time to complete hundreds of worldly tasks but rather than spend our time fussing with the details of a life that is fleeting, let us rather decide to build our permanent home in a place that is eternally protected.  Let us choose to spend our time with The Living One who transcends all time and all wrongdoing.  Let us fix on a site for our nest under God’s altar.  Let us pledge to spend our last days of Advent preparing our minds and our hearts for the coming of The Christ Child.  And let us spend our last days in God’s court, rather than a thousand elsewhere.


To learn more about swallows and where and how they nest, click on the image above or go to: http://www.petcaregt.com/blog/varieties-of-nest-sites-and-nests-in-swallows.html and http://smartisans.com/personal/ccam_6-1-2000_4-03pm.htm

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