Tag Archives: love

Forward Today: Love one another

Dear friends in Christ,

This coming Sunday, we hear verses from John 15 in the Gospel reading. Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

I know I say this a lot, but we Christians really have to work at understanding what Jesus means when he talks about love. It’s not a feeling. It doesn’t come with a Hollywood soundtrack. It’s not just being extra-nice to people.

Christian love is work. It’s not always easy. It doesn’t care about our preferences or convenience. Christian love takes practice. A lifetime of practice.

Think about what Jesus is saying when he tells us we are to love one another as he loves us. He loved us perfectly. He loved people who convention said should be unloved. He always told the truth. He challenged assumptions. He loved us sacrificially.

That means we are called to do the same. We are called to love the unlovable. We are called to speak the truth always. We are called to challenge assumptions. We are called to love others sacrificially. We are called to love perfectly.

It’s an impossible commandment to keep. After all, we are not Jesus Christ! But Jesus sets our direction, the way we should orient our lives. Our baptismal liturgy challenges us to grow into the full stature of Christ. Part of that is growing toward perfect love. We’ll never make it, but it is our hope.

How can we do this? Left to our own devices, we can’t. But we have two secret weapons.

First, Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would abide with us. We are not left on our own.

Second, we have the church. We have a bunch of other disciples who are stumbling along with us trying to figure out what it means to love others as Jesus loved us. We can celebrate when we get it right, and we can hold each other up when we get it wrong.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director



Subscribe to receive Forward Today in your inbox.
Image: Pixabay

Tune in!

Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!


In case you missed it…

The Way of Love | A Practical Guide to Following Jesus

Browse the ChurchNext library | ChurchNext

50 Days | Celebrating Easter with Daily Reflections

5 Spiritual Growth Strategies for the New Normal | RenewalWorks

Forward Today: Signs of Love

Dear friends in Christ,

Last week, while I was out walking our dog, I noticed some kids drawing on the sidewalk. Now, kids having some fun with chalk art isn’t all that unusual. But this art was both beautiful and heart-wrenching.

I was walking past the county jail, and the kids were drawing a message for their father, who could apparently see this bit of sidewalk from his cell. It had his name and their names, and a message of love. Beautiful, right? Kids professing love for their father. And certainly heart-wrenching.

All I know is that some kids love their father. I don’t know if he was to be in the jail for a day, or for a week, or for a year. I don’t know what circumstances led him to end up in the jail. What I do know is that the father and his children are all precious people, made in God’s image and worthy of love. Everyone, without exception, is worthy of God’s love and worthy of the love of others.

For the last few days, I’ve thought about this sign of love. On the one hand, it was utterly simple. Children’s art. On the other hand, it was as beautiful as any art ever made in human history, because it was created in love, with a message of love for one person. And yet it touched me and perhaps many others who walked by that patch of sidewalk.

It got me thinking. What if our world was filled with many more signs of love? What would it be like if we expressed our love of God and our love of neighbor in tangible and visible ways more often?

Maybe we follow the lead of those children and write on our sidewalks. We could offer words of encouragement and grace to those who need to hear a word of hope. We could send a letter or a kind email. We could mail a gift.

In short, we could change our world one story at a time. If our world is defined by the news, it will seem hopeless—filled with violence, fear, and degradation. It’s true that violence, hatred, and fear are present in our world. But it’s also true that, in the end, God’s love wins. The empty tomb is a promise of the victory of love over sin, fear, violence, and death. Every sign of love is a sign of hope, a reminder that God has the last word.

Let’s make some signs of love, shall we?

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director



Subscribe to receive Forward Today in your inbox.

A Covid-19 Spiritual Survival Kit

What can we do to take care of ourselves and others during this difficult time? How can we rely on God to help us survive—spiritually, physically, and emotionally—and to do God’s work in the world? In this course, James Farwell, Stephanie Spellers, Dorothy Linthicum, and Bonnie Perry offer suggestions to help us manage this period of anxiety and social isolation

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to learn coping skills and keep spiritually healthy as we go through the Covid-19 experience.

Tune in!

Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!

New Release:
Come & See: Reflections on the Life of Jesus

Each day since 1935, Forward Day by Day has offered daily devotions rooted in the Word of God and love of Jesus. Now, for the first time, some of the best meditations from the past three decades are collected into one volume and arranged chronologically, from Jesus’ birth to resurrection. Although the devotions were written in different contexts by a variety of authors, this collection offers a rich tapestry of reflections, some poignant, others pointed, but all committed to a way of love.

Come & See is curated by Sanford Smith, a pastor from Omaha, Nebraska, who began reading and collecting his favorite Forward Day by Day meditations in 1985. Today, at age ninety-five, he still volunteers four days a week as a hospital chaplain but every morning, he puts first things first and opens Forward Day by Day to read and pray.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the printing of this title has been delayed until late summer. Pre-order your print copy today, but also know that we’ve made the e-book version available early. You can find it on Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and at the iTunes store.

In case you missed it…

Free Forward Movement Resources | Forward Movement

Download our Coloring Pages | Forward Movement

Grief and Resurrection | Earth & Altar

Nuevo Amanecer goes Virtual | Latino Ministries of the Episcopal Church

Smart Speakers Now Offering Episcopal Prayer | Forward Movement