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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for October 23, 2017

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, please register for an account at Facebook. By checking the "Post to Facebook" box when commenting, you'll be able to find and quickly link back to this page from your Facebook account. You can also find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.

MONDAY, October 23      Saint James of Jerusalem

Acts 15:19-20 Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood.

James led the community of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and had considerable influence among the Christ followers of the Jewish diaspora. According to Josephus, even the Pharisees admired his piety and dedication to the law. Acts stresses James’ role as a reconciler, helping make space for the Gentiles.

James, a thoroughly Jewish follower of Christ, forces Christians today to reckon with the tragic ways we have violated our kinship with our Jewish brothers and sisters over the centuries. In celebrating James, we see that anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism do violence to our own faith by sawing off the branch of the tree from which we grow. James prompts us to reexamine how we deal with differences in belief and practice among Christians. How might you follow his example of attentive listening to God’s unruly Spirit, which leads us into unexpected types of kinship?

MOVING FORWARD: Make an appointment to tour a synagogue near you.

PRAY for the Diocese of Terekeka (Sudan)

Today the Church remembers Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, C. 62.

Ps 1 | Acts 15:12-22a | 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 | Matthew 13:54-58

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