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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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  • SATURDAY, September 18                  Ember Day

    “Don’t imagine us leaders to be something we aren’t.” This is how today’s epistle passage begins in The Message version of the Bible.

    I grew up in a ministry family. In fact, so many people in my family were in ministry that we half-jokin....

  • FRIDAY, September 17                  Ember Day

    Once upon a time, I wrote two books, both spiritual memoirs. In the second book, I told the story of what I called The Year Everything Fell Apart and how God met me in the mess of it all. I told of the beauty found in the unraveling and in the cracks of busted expectations. Yet, when it came time to....
  • THURSDAY, September 16                  Ninian

    Last fall, I had the honor of working on a prayer service for America that took place on All Saints’ Day, which fell two days before the presidential election.

    The gospel passage for that Sunday just happened to be this one, commonly referred to as the Be....

  • WEDNESDAY, September 15                  Ember Day

    Today is an Ember Day, one of three on the calendar in autumn set apart for fasting, prayer, and in particular, to give thanks for creation as we move through the seasons.

    In today’s gospel, we see Jesus calling the first disciples, men who were professio....

  • TUESDAY, September 14                  Holy Cross Day

    Today is Holy Cross Day, a feast day in Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox traditions to honor the role the cross plays in the death and resurrection of Christ.

    The herb basil is often considered a symbol of this feast because it is said that Saint Hele....

  • MONDAY, September 13                  Cyprian of Carthage

    Speaking to a group in Washington, D.C. in early 2020, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was asked about the future of the church in the face of decline. This is what he said:

    “The crisis facing our church may be our Good Friday. It may be time to let go of ....

  • SUNDAY, September 12                  16 Pentecost

    A story and a confession: One year, we offered foster care relief for a set of twins. Once a month, we had the kids over for a weekend, during which we would make and serve endless meals with garden-grown vegetables, venison, and layered casseroles. We soon realized that they were not used to these ....
  • SATURDAY, September 11

    There is a current trend in the world of casual fashion of wearing t-shirts that list your favorite characters from a book or television show. I have wondered if I were to buy or design such a shirt, who would be named? And now today I know. My shirt would say, Phoebe, Junia, Priscilla, Mary Mags, C....
  • FRIDAY, September 10                   Alexander Crummell

    As we read today’s passage from 1 Kings, we once again find the people of Israel in a pickle. They are waffling. Who will they serve? Baal or God? And Elijah is there, trying to set forth a path to help the people of God remember who and whose they are.

    A....

  • THURSDAY, September 9                   The Martyrs of Memphis

    In 1878, a pandemic of yellow fever took over the city of Memphis, Tennessee, for the third time in ten years. After a quarantine order was issued, half the population fled. Ninety percent of those who stayed became infected, and five thousand died. Sisters Constance, Thecla, Ruth, and Frances, and ....
  • WEDNESDAY, September 8                  [The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

    On May 12, 2020, Episcopal Relief & Development published a social media graphic that contained this verse: Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. They released this graphic just two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, two months after the killing of ....
  • TUESDAY, September 7                  [Kassiani]

    As a hobby farmer, I think a lot about the intersection of faith and all things agrarian. And as an evangelist, I think a lot about what good news is exactly and what it sounds like to various people. When I read today’s gospel selection, I wonder: What does good news sound like to the whole of cr....
  • MONDAY, September 6                  [Hannah More]

    In order to have pumpkins before Halloween, our seeds need to be planted around July 4. Where I live, there is nothing romantic about planting anything in July. The sun is blazing, the air sticky, and the ground hard. Once the pumpkins are planted, there is only a short break before the baby vines a....
  • SUNDAY, September 5                  15 Pentecost

    Throughout my life, I have experienced my share of wilderness moments and seasons, but until 2020, I had never experienced fear in the wilderness. Somehow, I knew that the light would find me, and I would make my way to the other side. But the onslaught of sickness, death, violence, and division in ....
  • SATURDAY, September 4                  Paul Jones

    When we purchased our farm in Arkansas, the eight acres held a pond, a defunct fruit orchard, a woodshop, a fixer-upper house, loblolly pine trees, and a lot of grass. Missing were animal shelters and cultivated land for growing. So we set to work: on the house, animal shelters, and land. Now, seven....
  • FRIDAY, September 3                  [Phoebe]

    Christianity was never meant to be only a solitary or individualistic experience. From the beginning, we see God deliberately choosing community as the place where love, healing, and reconciliation happen.

    Jesus was born into community (Mary and Joseph) and carried out hi....

  • THURSDAY, September 2         The Martyrs of New Guinea

    On a guitar, frets are raised metal strips inserted into the fingerboard. For my grandmother, the word fret describes her habitual worry about whether her cat has enough to eat. But to fret is also to gradually wear away or wear down something by rubbing or gnawing.

    <....
  • WEDNESDAY, September 1         David Pendleton Oakerhater

    Here we are at the beginning of a new month—and for many of us, the beginning of a new school or ministry year. When my boys each began kindergarten, their teachers created a bulletin board display that featured each student’s picture and an “about me” sentence or two. This helped create a s....
  • TUESDAY, August 31                           Aidan

    Some years ago, I began a practice of centering prayer. Talking with a longtime practitioner, I learned that the point of prayer was not to have a good prayer time but to bear the good fruit of love in our lives.

    I found this guidance to be essential as I gr....

  • MONDAY, August 30                  [Ward, Clitherow, and Line]

    Many came forward to give false testimony against Jesus. Their dishonesty surpassed their coordination, but allegedly faithful people got up in a religious court to lie in hopes of advancing their standing. The story is so familiar that we may not recognize the parallels with contemporary examples. ....

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