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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for August 5, 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.

SATURDAY, August 5

Acts 17:23 For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

For me, the pinnacle of Paul’s apologetic gymnastics is his reference to the inscription, “To an unknown god.” The Athenians might have been simply covering their bases, but their mysterious ambiguity inspired John Steinbeck to write his novel To A God Unknown. While the novel’s theology can be problematic, I find comfort in a theme it articulates: God is readily present in nature.

I feel most connected to God when I am mindful of my place in nature—surfing at dawn or hiking through the redwoods. I feel God when I catch a cutthroat trout or see a humpback whale. While my connection to the divine is not limited to experiences in the wilderness, my relationship with God suffers when I lose my place in the ecosystem. I treat God as unknown when I neglect nature.

Perhaps this is where Jesus steps in—God made manifest among us, bridging the gap of our neglect. Tonight, as I admire the summer sun setting below a crescent moon, the grace of Christ surrounds me completely.

MOVING FORWARD: Have your prayer time outside today. Enjoy.

PRAY for the Diocese of Pretoria (Southern Africa)

Ps 75, 76 * 23, 27 | 2 Samuel 5:22—6:11 | Acts 17:16-34 | Mark 8:1-10

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