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The Forward Day by Day Archives

We've published links to the last few weeks' Forward Day by Day Meditations below. You can search for past meditations (from June 2012 and later), and filter them by keyword if you wish, using the search form.

Please note: Some of our archived meditations are currently unavailable. We are working on the problem and expect to have the Archives page fully operational again soon.

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  • TUESDAY, May 26

    Moses was a very old man, wearied from decades of desert wandering and coping with an obstreperous, complaining people. Now he stood on the summit of Mount Nebo, looking west across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. He knew he would not enter that land, but he was able to see it before he die....
  • MONDAY, May 25

    Paul asks for the prayers of friends he has known in the past but now rarely sees. He clearly believes in the power of prayer, even prayer from a distance.

    Does such prayer really work? We can’t know for sure. People sometimes attribute a healing or happy circumstance to....

  • SUNDAY, May 24   The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday

    The chosen people had been in exile for seventy years, their homeland occupied by a foreign power, their city and its temple in ruins. All seemed lost. Then the prophet Ezekiel had a powerful dream. He saw dry bones in a desert valley. At the Lord God’s command, the dry bones moved, rattled, and a....
  • SATURDAY, May 23

    Talk about the “blood of Jesus” has long baffled me. Blood of Jesus imagery is central to the Holy Eucharist. A good portion of Christian devotional literature and hymnody center on it. A popular theory of the Atonement is based on it. And the Epistle to the Hebrews makes much of it, tying it to....
  • FRIDAY, May 22

    We believe we need lots of things. Sociologist Abraham Maslow discussed a “hierarchy of needs,” starting with physiological needs (air, food, water, sex, sleep) and emotional needs (safety, love, belonging, esteem, self-actualization, and self-transcendence). Maslow said a healthy, fully functio....
  • THURSDAY, May 21

    This beloved parable is about more than being kind to our neighbor. It’s about the grace that is shared and the miracle that is manifested each time we help each other, and each time we allow ourselves to be helped. Both of the main characters in this story, the man who is beaten and left for dead....
  • WEDNESDAY, May 20

    I have just returned from the supermarket where I saw a small child held in his mother’s arms. I winked at the child, and he winked back. We smiled at each other and giggled briefly. The mother turned into another aisle. A few minutes later, we met again in the checkout line. The child and I eyed ....
  • TUESDAY, May 19

    Jesus knew what he was talking about here. Tradition has it that of the twelve apostles, all but John died a martyr’s death. Today’s Christians often encounter wolves as well, and sometimes they’re in the church. Outsiders no longer feel threatened by us but we often rip into each other (thoug....
  • MONDAY, May 18

    How do you judge the success of a project? We can think of several metrics for success, whether it’s college rankings, an upward-trending gross domestic product, increased sales, or expanded inventory. What are the metrics by which we determine the success of a church?

    S....

  • SUNDAY, May 17   7 Easter

    Apart from this short passage, both Barsabbas and Matthias are completely unknown to us. Since nothing is known of Matthias’ subsequent ministry as an apostle, we can only speculate about him. This passage actually tells us less about Matthias, who became an apostle, than about Barsabbas, who didn....
  • SATURDAY, May 16

    Look around your congregation the next time you attend worship. The rector will probably stand in the center of the room, decked out in snazzy finery. He or she will speak and people will listen (or pretend to listen). But the rector will not be the greatest person there. Perhaps the greatest person....
  • FRIDAY, May 15

    The collect for Proper 28 (The Book of Common Prayer, pages 390, 442), urging our inward digestion of the scriptures, is probably based on this passage. To eat and digest a book or scroll is to read it in such a way that it becomes part of you, like food digested in the stomach. We might imagine unw....
  • THURSDAY, May 14   Ascension Day

    The Bible speaks of the subject of today’s feast in picturesque terms—Christ’s ascending into heaven and taking his place at the right hand of God gives us incredible images to visualize. Don’t be concerned about whether the picture you see in your head or heart is literally true or true in ....
  • WEDNESDAY, May 13   Rogation Day

    We know that being anxious won’t make things better. But when some ominous threat looms before us, it doesn’t help to be told not to be anxious. How do we keep calm? How do we face adversity with serenity?

    First, we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. Most things....

  • TUESDAY, May 12   Rogation Day

    The playing field is never level. Some people have a loving upbringing, attend good schools, find work that is pleasing and profitable, marry the right person, and enjoy good health. Some nations are rich in resources, geographically secure, and enjoy a functioning government and healthy economy.
  • MONDAY, May 11   Rogation Day

    The meaning of this statement from Jesus hinges on what we mean by “life.” Many of us mistake existing for living. I’ve often seen this in hospital rooms where doctors do everything possible to maintain a patient’s existence—keep that heart beating and those lungs breathing, and never mind....
  • SUNDAY, May 10   6 Easter

    Today 280 million Christians worldwide identify as Pentecostal. Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing expression of Christian faith and has also influenced the historic churches of the charismatic movement.

    People who worship Pentecostal or charismatic traditions experienc....

  • SATURDAY, May 9

    Being content with little or nothing is a theme running through all the world’s great spiritual traditions. The eleventh-century Tibetan Buddhist Milarepa said, “I have no desire for wealth or possessions, and so I have nothing. I do not experience the initial suffering of having to accumulate p....
  • FRIDAY, May 8

    Undergirding Paul’s instruction in our reading is an understanding that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. When our brother or sister is waging a life-or-death battle in his or her soul, and even when we’re not sure what battles our brother or sister may be waging, we should be respec....
  • THURSDAY, May 7

    Once an idol is named, it loses its power to seduce. The devil is always giving old idols new names. There are probably no truly new idols, just new ways of presenting the old in different packaging.

    An idol is anything that consumes our time, energy, and devotion, usurpin....

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