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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for November 22, 2019

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. You can also listen to the Forward Day by Day podcast anywhere you find podcasts!

FRIDAY, November 22

1 Maccabees 4:44-45 They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned. And they thought it best to tear it down, so that it would not be a lasting shame to them that the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar.

Judas Maccabeus and his followers have driven the Seleucid occupiers out of Jerusalem and are surveying the damage. One of the holiest parts of the temple, the altar of sacrifice, has been thoroughly defiled. They decide to tear the altar down completely and rebuild with fresh stones.

For the community of the children of Israel living in Jerusalem, this is a way of dealing with their shame over having seen their holy places desecrated beyond the point of further use. Sometimes, all we can do to start over is to tear it all down.

Part of the work of discipleship is assuming a posture of laying everything in our lives before the cross of Christ—all of it that is potentially a source for shame—and ask God to transform our ashes into joy.

MOVING FORWARD: What in your life has been profaned and defiled? How will you re-consecrate it?

PRAY for the Dioceses of San Joaquin (The Episcopal Church), Dutse (Nigeria), and Kyoto (Japan)

Ps 102 * 107:1-32 | 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 | Revelation 22:6-13 | Matthew 18:10-20

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