Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement
 

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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  • WEDNESDAY, July 30

    It is impossible for humans to understand God. Our efforts are like exploring the Grand Canyon with our eyes closed. We can get some of the truth but not much of it. When our limited comprehension comes up against wider and deeper truth about God, we often interpret the experience a....

  • TUESDAY, July 29

    I am not a fan of capital punishment. I find the last words of a condemned man in South Carolina to be persuasive, “It was wrong when I did it, and it is probably wrong when you do it.” Those who favor the death penalty often cite it as a deterrent to future criminals. They migh....

  • MONDAY, July 28

    The spiritual heart of this story, and a key to almost every pain our Lord experiences, is shifting the human eye and attention from principle to politics, from truth to crowd pleasing. John the Baptist was executed by Herod because he did not want to be embarrassed before his guest....

  • SUNDAY, July 27    7 Pentecost

    In this passage, Jesus piles up images of the kingdom of heaven. It expands like a mustard seed or yeast. It is valuable like treasure or a pearl. It is as diverse as a net full of fish, as clear as good and bad or new and old. It is a marvelous jumble of images, and a few of the di....

  • SATURDAY, July 26

    Why is Jesus silent at this point? He has been arrested and charged with all sorts of things. The emotional tide of the day is running against him. Why not use his remarkable ability with words to tell those in authority what is really going on? Later, Jesus will famously ask God to....

  • FRIDAY, July 25    Saint James the Apostle

    Mrs. Zebedee comes across as the original helicopter parent, hovering over her darling boys who seem here to be sniveling brats relying on such intervention. One cannot blame the other disciples for resenting this power grab. But look what happens. After the privilege of being in th....

  • THURSDAY, July 24

    What is there in human nature that delights in joining the accusers? From lynch mobs to eye-rolling righteousness; from angry denunciations to the self-serving piety of “at least I am not as bad as…,” we all want to look good by making others look bad. The two serving girls an....

  • WEDNESDAY, July 23

    What motivates false witnesses? The intent seems to be to do another person harm, and somehow the desire to harm takes precedence over the facts. Reality becomes an inconvenience to be ignored like ants at a picnic or sweat during a workout. Good Friday is a haven of false testimony....

  • TUESDAY, July 22    Saint Mary Magdalene

    The information about Mary Magdalene tantalizes the imagination. A Jesus groupie in an age when decent women did not leave home to follow itinerant men. One from whom seven demons, by Luke’s count, were exorcised. A woman of such low status that she was free to stand unchallenged ....

  • MONDAY, July 21

    This is a terrible passage, one of the most painful in the Bible. Its description of Jesus’ agony is much more evocative for me than accounts of the crucifixion. That may be because I have been really frightened and full of dread, but I have never been nailed to a cross. I can i....

  • SUNDAY, July 20    6 Pentecost

    One of our favorite indoor sports is passing judgment on others. Few things are more satisfying than announcing someone is going to hell for one reason or another. We do it to individuals, denominations, religions, and, on a good day, entire cultures. One would think that God, if no....

  • SATURDAY, July 19

    These words from the Last Supper are meaningful to us but must have been utterly confusing to the disciples who first heard them. Biblical prophets had historically dramatized their messages with plumb lines, fruit bowls, bad marriages, and other props, but what might bread broken a....

  • FRIDAY, July 18

    The disciples had different reactions to the predictions of Jesus. When they were confused, they asked questions. When they were offended, they confronted him, as Peter did after the prediction of Jesus’ arrest and death. Their reaction to the idea of their own betrayal produced ....
  • THURSDAY, July 17

    We miss a great deal of the Bible’s message when we distance ourselves from the people in its stories. The chief priests and elders who engineered Jesus’ crucifixion are a case in point. To say they have suffered from bad press would be something of an understatement. Opportunit....

  • WEDNESDAY, July 16

    Before getting into the detail of today’s text, let us note that all of the images about final judgment proclaim the unmistakable fact that what we do in this life matters in the next. The end of life does not mean the end of consequences.

  • TUESDAY, July 15

    How is trust built? Or, what is often more difficult: how is trust rebuilt? The parable of the talents in today’s reading provides one of the clearest answers.

    The first point is that trust cannot be earned without first being given....

  • MONDAY, July 14

    Some years ago the parish I was serving instituted a program of lay visitation at the local hospital. Since people in our small town knew one another in a variety of contexts, it was difficult to establish that this was a church-based visit as opposed to one based on other associati....

  • SUNDAY, July 13    5 Pentecost

    The parable of the sower is much loved, quoted, and depicted. Because the gospel texts treat it as an allegory where each part stands for a specific fact or truth, and since the allegory is fully explained by Jesus, there seems to be little more that can be said about it. If Jesus ....

  • SATURDAY, July 12

    First-century Christians were convinced the world would end quite soon. The Jerusalem Church assumed they could pool their resources and have enough to last until the Second Coming. One reason the gospels were written so long after Jesus’ life and death was that few people saw any....

  • FRIDAY, July 11

    Our ancestors were particularly enthralled by ideas of the end of this world. They were quite bold in describing not only something they had never seen but also something that by definition had never been seen by anyone. The details of their projections must therefore be suspect, bu....

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