Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement

The Forward Day by Day Meditation for May 15, 2018

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, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can 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.


Acts 23:12 In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

The Treasury Room at the Cloisters Museum in New York houses an English altar cross carved from walrus ivory. It includes images of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Hebrew prophets, and a beautiful ancient tree—and disturbing invectives against Jews. The altar cross was carved about a hundred years before communities of Jews were systematically expelled from England in the late 1200’s.

I was startled by this cross, and I feel the same sort of surprise reading today’s passage. Luke says a lot in this passage, but all I could focus on was the portrayal of Jews. Medieval Christians used this passage to justify their hatred and persecution of Jews and to diminish the Jewishness of Jesus.

We ought to continue asking forgiveness for the deeply anti-Jewish elements literally carved into some of Christianity’s most fundamental texts and images. We would do well to recall and lift up Jesus’ Jewishness and not let it get lost amidst the polemics.

MOVING FORWARD: Visit a synagogue in your area.

Good Book Club Reading: Acts 23:12-35

PRAY for the Dioceses of Chester, Chester-Birkenhead, and Chester-Stockport (England)



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