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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for December 31, 1969

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!

SUNDAY, November 1                           All Saints

Matthew 23:5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.

The day I went to the local tailor to be measured for my first cassock was like an introduction into a secret world. The workshop was full of obscure articles of clerical haberdashery, most much fancier than the simple black wool cassock I was seeking. I marveled at the rainbow of heavy silks, embroidered symbols, and gold bullion fringe. What beauty there was involved in worshiping God!

It is easy (and fun) to get caught up in the beauty of the ornaments that go into our worship—their presence enriches our worship. We must never let ourselves stop there, however, or we become like the falsely pious folks in the gospel passage today—all style, no substance. We must be especially mindful not to let these details blind us to the purpose for which we offer our sacrifice at the altar: in thanksgiving for the life of grace and forgiveness made possible for us through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

MOVING FORWARD: Do a little research on phylacteries. How does understanding this word illuminate the reading from Matthew?

PRAY for the Church of the Province of West Africa

Today the Church remembers All Saints.

Ps 34:1-10, 22 | Revelation 7:9-17 | 1 John 3:1-3 | Matthew 5:1-12

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