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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for September 16, 2021

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THURSDAY, September 16                  Ninian

Matthew 5:2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying…

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 Beatitudes. Most parts of the service were pre-recorded, including the gospel reading. To represent the words through a contemporary lens, we filmed the verses being read by a variety of voices in various locations. Blessed are the merciful was read by a deacon and a COVID nurse wearing scrubs and a face mask. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you was read in Spanish by a brand-new American citizen. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God was read by a student in a classroom. And those are just three of the twelve portions filmed.

Preparing the reading was a beautiful and challenging experiment in pairing ancient words with current realities. I wonder how our understanding of Jesus’ teachings would benefit from trying this practice more often.

MOVING FORWARD: Try going through the Beatitudes yourself. Who would you have read each verse?

Pray for the Diocese of Exeter (England)

Ps [70], 71 * 74 | 1 Kings 22:29-45 | 1 Corinthians 2:14—3:15 | Matthew 5:1-10

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