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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for September 13, 2013

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.

FRIDAY, September 13

Psalm 51. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51 is a confession, a cry for God’s mercy and compassion. Confession is an important part of the Christian life. It is embedded in liturgical tradition—in The Episcopal Church, we always say a confession before receiving the Eucharist—but it is part of more personal work as well.

Examining my life for sin is not an especially enjoyable pursuit, but only when I identify the actions and beliefs that are keeping me apart from God can I begin the difficult interior work of becoming closer to God. I know that God does not hate me, that God will not banish me forever because of anything I’ve done, and that nothing I do or say or think or question can bring me out beyond God’s reach. With this knowledge, I have the confidence to look honestly at my life.

Confession allows us to take responsibility for our actions, which is a necessary step for change and growth. It is not a punishment, it is not torture; it can be painful, but it can also lead to comfort, renewal, and progress.

PRAY for the Diocese of Sialkot (Pakistan)

Today the Church remembers John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407.

Ps 40, 54 * 51; 1 Kings 18:20-40; Philippians 3:1-16; Matthew 3:1-12

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