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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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  • FRIDAY, November 21

    A couple of years ago, our apple trees produced fruit for the very first time. We planted them three years before, and after a long wait, they were ready. Only they weren’t quite ready. The thing about apples is that they look ready before they are entirely ripe, particularly the yellow varieties.....
  • THURSDAY, November 20

    I imagine Jesus looking around, eyes twinkling like a three-year-old in a candy shop, gazing at his hearers and saying, “the kingdom of God is among you.” I imagine their stunned faces, gaping mouths, and furrowed brows. Where is he going with this?

    We find Jesus speak....

  • WEDNESDAY, November 19

    Did you catch that? Jesus was in between. He was going between Samaria and Galilee. He was in no man’s land, in that liminal space, the threshold between what was and what is to be. The gospel of Luke takes great pains to draw out the threads of Jesus’ expanding mission to the Samaritans and Gen....
  • TUESDAY, November 18

    It is amazing to me how the little things that I say to my children can be life-giving or soul crushing. A word of encouragement said with a smile can delight them or lead to giggles and laughter. A comment that is gruff or loud, judgmental or guilt-inducing, can elicit tears, tantrums, or sadness. ....
  • MONDAY, November 17

    Fine linen and purple attire must not be Jesus’ favorite threads. He has some harsh words to say to the rich man. Apparently the rich man was too busy with his life and wealth to pay much attention to poor Lazarus at his gate. Lazarus is honored in the afterlife, while the rich man pays dearly.
  • SUNDAY, November 16       23 Pentecost

    I’ve never had a thief come in the night, but I have had smoke alarms go off in the middle of the night. It is not a pleasant way to wake up. Fortunately we’ve never had an actual fire, but the abruptness of the sudden waking is still shocking. You don’t recover quickly from that kind of awake....
  • SATURDAY, November 15

    The gospel writer’s incisive comment about the Pharisees as lovers of money is striking. Their love of money must have been a distinguishing factor, something for which they were particularly known. And the Pharisees, of course, were part of the religious establishment of the day. All of which mak....
  • FRIDAY, November 14

    It’s amazing to me how quickness and listening have had so little in common for most of my life. I can be quick about a good number of things. I can be quick to lend a hand, quick to speak up, quick to get annoyed, but when it comes to listening, well, the quickness is not as present as I’d like....
  • THURSDAY, November 13

    I often find myself walking a fine line between keeping my kids safe and protected and exposing them to risk and challenge. I know they will only learn and grow if they wrestle and are stretched, but I hate to see them in pain or fear. Parenting, like life, takes a good bit of deep breathing and let....
  • WEDNESDAY, November 12

    God seems to have a thing for hearts. Time and again in scripture we hear of God being concerned with people’s hearts. This is striking because we often get hung up on the externals of our faith practice. Or, to flip the words of the prophet Joel, we rend our clothing and not our hearts. You might....
  • TUESDAY, November 11

    I love my family. They bring me immense joy and laughter. We have fun together, we cry together, we play together, and we work together. More often than not, they are the reason I get up in the morning. Whether it’s an extended family reunion, a date night with my wife, or making pancakes on a Sat....
  • MONDAY, November 10

    Ten years ago, I saw a film that has had a deep and lasting impression on me. The film Antwone Fisher is about a troubled young man searching for his place in the world. It’s about coming home again for the first time. It’s about having a place at the table for all of us. The film opens with a d....
  • SUNDAY, November 9       22 Pentecost

    “But that’s not fair,” is a common refrain around our house. If one kid gets to go to a friend’s house, and the other doesn’t, there’s a protest and proclamation of unfairness. Children seem to have a built-in fairness meter. Admittedly their perception of fairness tends to skew toward w....
  • SATURDAY, November 8

    A couple of weeks ago, my six-year-old son was having a rough morning. It happened to be a Sunday morning, and I was due to preach in thirty minutes. We were going to be late to church, and he was throwing a fit. In the midst of trying to help him regain some equilibrium, I could tell that what he r....
  • FRIDAY, November 7

    I often feel over my head. There are too many things to be done, too many small people needing something from me, too many dishes to be washed, and way too much laundry. I know there are ways our family can simplify. I know these can be learning moments. I know there are organizational systems we ca....
  • THURSDAY, November 6

    My three-year-old daughter has a very active imagin-ation. Yesterday, she saw an athlete on TV and declared his name to be Shawn (it wasn’t) and that he was her friend. She regularly crafts some elaborate narrative about a fictional world a long time ago “when she was five.” As I listened to h....
  • WEDNESDAY, November 5

    It’s very hard for me to grasp how anyone could be angry that someone was healed on the sabbath. I mean, she was healed! That just doesn’t happen every day. Wouldn’t you stand there amazed at what you just witnessed, mouth gaping wide, astonished at the beauty and power of it all? But no, this....
  • TUESDAY, November 4

    I wonder what God’s “holy habitation” is like. Today’s scriptures have lots of agricultural references in them, so I bet God has a garden. And if God has a garden, I suspect God doesn’t have nearly the problem with beetles eating his broccoli that we do! But what really strikes me about Go....
  • MONDAY, November 3

    If you live in the northern hemisphere, November is the last month for harvesting from the garden. If you were to stop by my garden right now, you’d find me elbows deep in the soil, rummaging about for the last of the potatoes. Or you’d see me pulling beans from the vine and tossing the rest of ....
  • SUNDAY, November 2     21 Pentecost

    I feel bad for the Pharisees. They consistently get a bad rap in the gospels. But in this passage from Matthew, we see that Jesus tells his followers to do as they say, not as they do. The Pharisees are at least attempting to be good Jews following in the footsteps of Moses. However, their sense of ....

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