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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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  • SUNDAY, September 25      19 Pentecost

    The beautiful paradox of life as a disciple of Jesus is evident in instructions like Paul’s to Timothy, where “the good fight” is realized in the pursuit of gentleness. What kind of fight is won by gentleness?

    Paul’s logic raises uncomfortable questions for us: To....

  • SATURDAY, September 24

    Taizé is a French ecumenical monastic community whose worship is marked by song, simplicity, and silent prayer. “But what do you do in the silence?” came the question from a young adult, addressing one of the brothers of the Taizé community. The brother smiled and answered, “It’s a good qu....
  • FRIDAY, September 23

    Psalm 92 returns to the image with which Psalm 1 begins: a tree that flourishes. A mentor reminds me that flourishing is the standard for life in the kingdom: not surviving, but flourishing; not merely existing, but growing in healthy, vigorous ways.

    To move toward this ....

  • THURSDAY, September 22

    Jesus takes a passage from Isaiah as the text for his first public sermon. The hook, like all good hooks, comes at the end, when he adds, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

    “The year of the Lord’s favor” is more than a beautiful rhetoric....

  • WEDNESDAY, September 21     Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

    Those who engage the church’s rhythm of morning and evening prayer (also known as the Daily Office) discover that all those small acts aggregate into one massively significant proclamation: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”

    My only job,....

  • TUESDAY, September 20

    My parents had one rule about Halloween costumes: They had to come from the Bible. I don’t think my parents were prudes—God knows there are plenty of terrifying images found in the Bible. My parents were attempting to ground our imaginations in scriptural realities and deep truths. They wanted u....
  • MONDAY, September 19

    John the Baptist is giving mundane instructions to those who believe that the salvation of God is near. Of course, just because instructions are ordinary does not mean we are good at following them. So we begin with coats—simple and ordinary.

    Remarkably, John regards al....

  • SUNDAY, September 18

    Reading Luke’s lesson today, I hear foreshadowing of what Paul will refer to as Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation. After all, the power of the gospel is not measured in status achieved over others but in hostilities extinguished and friendships restored. Ironically, the manager in our story disc....
  • SATURDAY, September 17

    I stared into the eyes of the kind-faced, wrinkled woman before me. She stared back, seeing nothing. For the last few years, her life’s story had been held by a family she could not remember and lived out in a facility that she could not see. The people who loved her asked me to bring communion to....
  • FRIDAY, September 16

    We have all experienced times when we’re waiting for someone to step up, to say with courage what the entire group has been thinking. When the one person says “it” (whatever “it” is), the rest of the group finds permission to say, “Yes! Me, too.” Speaking a truth gives our friends perm....
  • THURSDAY, September 15

    Midnight is upon Paul and Silas, and things aren’t looking good. But they have an unconventional response to being in prison: These men sing.

    We might imagine that it is easier to sing when things are going well. However, the profound power of song is revealed in Paul a....

  • WEDNESDAY, September 14     Holy Cross Day

    A Wisconsinite moved to South Texas with a full array of down jackets. Shortly after arriving, the Wisconsinite was joined by some neighbors, who helped with the unpacking. When her new friends came across the jackets, they laughed. Appreciating these relics of another world, they soon added gently,....
  • TUESDAY, September 13

    One of our morning psalms evokes the ending of the Lord’s Prayer, “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.” These words both name our hope and call us to surrender.

    Power belongs to God. This lesson calls us to learn to wa....

  • MONDAY, September 12

    I have this recurring nightmare in which I die and approach the pearly gates. Saint Peter is ready to let me in when Saint Augustine interrupts and zeroes in on me. He grills me about my computer, my blog, my digital footprint, and my ministry. Saint Augustine goes deep and makes me feel timid and s....
  • SUNDAY, September 11     17 Pentecost

    At every celebration of the eucharist, the priest invites the people to offer themselves to God with what is called an “offertory sentence.” The priest can choose from choices provided in The Book of Common Prayer or select another appropriate verse. I wonder if the grumblings of the Phar....
  • SATURDAY, September 10

    By whose noise am I shaken? Who is shaken by my noise? As the psalmist names these questions, this mirror-psalm confronts us with the conflicts we wish we could hide. It is hard to know that there are people who don’t like us, who won’t like us, who consider us their enemies, never mind whether ....
  • FRIDAY, September 9

    We are called to roll away stones.

    Like Martha and her friends, we listen for the voice of the one who challenges our ideas about what is and isn’t possible. As people of hope, Christians are yoked to the impossible things that happen at the feet of Jesus. Martha and h....

  • THURSDAY, September 8

    Lazarus’s death presents a heart-wrenching challenge to Mary and Martha’s relationship with Jesus. Just a few chapters ago, Mary is lauded for sitting at Jesus’ feet and choosing the “better portion.” Now, she stays at home and lets Martha walk the long road to meet their teacher. For her ....
  • WEDNESDAY, September 7

    The grace in the psalmist’s exhortation to refrain from envy or fear when “some become rich” is found in naming an uncomfortable truth—we worry about the wealth of others. Indeed, the corrupting influences of wealth and power appear to validate our fears. Still, it is hard to know whether we....
  • TUESDAY, September 6

    Paul and Barnabas proclaim the good news, manifest a healing, and are elevated as objects of worship. The people want to make them gods. To our contemporary ears (and toward the end of one doozy of an election in the United States), the truly strange thing about this story is that Paul and Barnabas ....

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