Dear friends in Christ,
Like many of you, I find myself balancing the need to get through each day with the need to look toward the future. Perhaps that’s always true, but in these strange times, each day seems to bring greater than usual challenges, and the future is more of a moving target.
Whether you are thinking about yourself as an individual or your church or your nation, I think I’m not alone in the difficulty of balancing today’s needs with trying to be in the right place for tomorrow and for next year.
It seems to me that some of the key elements to think about include safety, sustainability, familiarity, community, and, most important, mission. In their own way, these are relevant for you and me as individuals, and certainly for our churches.
For churches and organizations, everything else should be wrapped up in mission. Who are we? What is most important to us? How can we carry out our mission in these changing times? It would be easy to lose our focus on mission. In fact, I think one of the main reasons our churches have not been healthy is that, in many cases, we’ve forgotten our mission—the broad mission given to us by Jesus and the local mission in our neighborhoods.
Amid all the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, there are also opportunities. I don’t want to minimize the very real suffering that many are experiencing. All those hard things are true, and we should weep with those who weep. At the same time, this crisis affords the church an opportunity to refocus on its mission. There is no space for complacency now, and many of the distractions of our familiar world are melted away. How can we carry out the mission to make disciples that Jesus has given us?
For individuals too, there is a new opportunity to ask if we are answering God’s call. Are there changes we need to make?
As I continue to think and pray about today and tomorrow, I invite you to do the same. Pray for our church and its leaders. Pray for yourself. And please pray for the mission and ministry of Forward Movement and for me, too.
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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.
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!
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…