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Forward Day By Day – August 22, 2019

All our lessons today burst with intrigue. There is trouble in David’s court, and Absalom has just been killed. Paul’s imprisonment continues, and the plot thickens. In Mark, Jesus is wrapping up a fraught debate session with those wily priests and scribes....

Forward Day By Day – August 21, 2019

One of the beautiful things about the Daily Office Lectionary and its guide to reading through scripture is the opportunity to read the psalms in quantity. Reading them this way is a bit like reading an epic, generational novel. The whole human experience is there:...

Forward Day By Day – August 20, 2019

My first memory of this verse is from a nineteenth-century primitive chapel. Behind the altar is a massive plate-glass window, which overlooks miles and miles of the ancient Ozark Mountains. Carved above the window is the inscription: I will lift up mine eyes unto the...

Forward Day By Day – August 19, 2019

I just love this story, which is euphemistically referred to as “The Cleansing of the Temple.” How are we to understand what’s going on here? Through the interpretive lens of two millennia, we figure Jesus has every reason for his unexpected actions and that the...

Forward Day By Day – August 18, 2019

The entire twelfth chapter of the letter to the Hebrews is a great love letter to the forerunners of our faith. These ancestral heroes endured suffering, fought mightily, and persevered in the faith. Therefore, we must remember on whose shoulders we stand and have the...

Forward Day By Day – August 17, 2019

Paul is a problematic character. Many people of faith, biblical scholars, and even casual Bible readers have a hard time with him and some of the teachings ascribed to him. But never mind that. We may argue about the Apostle Paul but what do we do with...

Forward Day By Day – August 16, 2019

Even those who don’t know the Bible or practice the faith talk about “the road to Damascus” as a place of great epiphany or change of heart. Saul, a devout and dedicated Jew, has been rounding up followers of Christ in an attempt to eradicate what he ….(View...

Forward Day By Day – August 15, 2019

In her appearances to the faithful over the millennia, Mary always comes dressed as a local. At the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, enormous mosaics from 43 countries honor Our Lady. In each picture, she bears the physical characteristics of the contributing...

Forward Day By Day – August 14, 2019

When my spouse retired, we simplified a lot of things about our life. As we downsized, we had to make decisions about every single item we owned. This exercise got easier as we went along and ultimately resulted in lighter spirits and a more nimble life. It’s not...

Forward Day By Day – August 13, 2019

The crowds, the Pharisees, the disciples, the parents, the children—everybody wants something from Jesus. The crowds want teachings and healings. The Pharisees want to trap Jesus. The disciples want Jesus to themselves. The parents seek a blessing for their children....

Forward Day By Day – August 12, 2019

Today’s lessons are not the kinds of scripture passages we cross stitch on pillows. We don’t get to select only the bits of the Bible we want to spend time with, like picking out the pretzels from the party mix. Christians believe the Bible to be the Word of God,...

Forward Day By Day – August 11, 2019

There are different estimates of exactly how many times Jesus speaks some variation of “Do not be afraid.” No matter the number, the recurring message is clear: Do not be afraid. Life is a creative process. The tools we might need as we make ou….(View this...

Forward Day By Day – August 10, 2019

There is a high level of stress and disorder in our gospel passage. Jesus tells his friends—for the second time—about his impending death and resurrection. They don’t understand, as usual. Despite seeing Jesus’ wondrous powers, despite walking and talking with Jesus...

Forward Day By Day – August 9, 2019

Today we hear the prophetic version of Just wait until your Father gets home. Nathan is so angry he is practically sputtering and tells the king a tale of injustice concerning two men and an ewe lamb. David declares the act of injustice to be punishable by death....

Forward Day By Day – August 8, 2019

The last sentence in today’s framing verse is one of the great biblical understatements of all time. David has perpetrated a complicated, power-abusing plot upon Bathsheba and her husband Uriah—because he desired Bathsheba. The greatest king in the history of Israel,...

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