I am an emeritus professor from Cornell University and a Commissioned Lay Preacher in the Presbyterian Church (USA). For many years I have followed the Daily Lectionary as printed in the Mission Yearbook of my church. For each day of a two-year cycle, the lectionary lists four psalms and three other scriptural passages--usually one from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. My practice is to copy down a verse or two from one of the psalms and from each of the other three passages. After I have written out all four selections, I reflect upon them, rearrange their order, and incorporate them into a meditation. Sometimes I retain much of the original wording; sometimes all that remains of a selection is an idea that was stimulated when I read the original words. All selections are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. For the Daily Lectionary, see the link below.

As Free People--Nov. 26, 2015

[From Nov. 24, 2011 archive]

We belong to you; do with us what you choose.
We are your servants; therefore we live as free people;
forbid that we should use our freedom as a pretext for evil.

With your steadfast love before our eyes,
O God, we will pasture and lie down;
and no one will make us afraid.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 116; 147:12-20; 26; 130
Zeph. 3:1-13
1 Peter 2:11-25
Matt. 20:1-16

Selected Verses
Ps. 26:3
 For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
          and I walk in faithfulness to you.

Zeph. 3:13d
Then [the remnant of Israel] will pasture and lie down,
          and no one shall make them afraid.

1 Peter 2:16
As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.

Matt. 20:15
"'…Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?  Or are you envious because I am generous?’  …"  [The landowner speaks to his laborers in a parable Jesus told his disciples]

Pure, Spiritual Milk--Nov. 25, 2015

[From Nov. 23, 2011 archive]

The day of the Lord is near.
He is coming to judge the earth;
all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice,
and all guile, insincerity, envy, and slander.

Like babes, long for the pure, spiritual milk,
and do not let your concern for riches
separate you from the kingdom.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 96; 147:1-11; 132; 134
Obad. 15-21
1 Peter 2:1-10
Matt. 19:23-30

Selected Verses
Ps. 96:12b-13a
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
            before the LORD; for he is coming,
            for he is coming to judge the earth.

Obad. 15a
For the day of the LORD is near against all the nations.

1 Peter 2:1-2a
Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.  Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk…

Matt. 19:23
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.  …"

In Genuine Mutual Love--Nov. 24, 2015

You are a God of goodness--
in a day of trouble, a stronghold
for all those who take refuge in you--
even in a raging flood, you protect them.
They feast on the abundance of your house
and drink from the river of your delights.

God, grant that like little children we 
may come to you. Purify our souls
through obedience to your truth,
so that in genuine mutual love
we will love one another  
deeply from the heart.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 12; 146; 36; 7
Nahum 1:1-13
1 Peter 1:13-25
Matt. 19:13-22

Selected Verses
Ps. 36:8
[All who take refuge under your wings] feast on the abundance of your house,
          and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 

Nahum 1:7-8a
The LORD is good,
            a stronghold in a day of trouble;
he protects those who take refuge in him,
            even in a rushing flood. 

1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 

Matt. 19:14
…but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs."

In the Valley of Decision--Nov. 23, 2015

In the valley of decision,
my soul waits for you, O God.
Forgive my hard-hearted ways,
for my hope is from you, a new
birth into a living hope through
the resurrection from the dead
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 62; 145; 73; 9
Joel 3:1-2, 9-17
1 Peter 1:1-12
Matt. 19:1-12

Selected Verses
Ps. 62:5
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
          for my hope is from him. 

Joel 3:14
Multitudes, multitudes,
          in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
          in the valley of decision. 

1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

Matt. 19:8
[Jesus] said to [the Pharisees], “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.  …"

A Joyful Noise, from All the Earth--Nov. 22, 2015

[From Nov. 24, 2013 archive]

God of steadfastness and encouragement,
grant us patience as we wait for your kingdom;
and encourage us to serve you in kingdom-like living.

However long it may take for the peoples of the world
to tear down the barriers that separate nation from
nation, and to open highways that lead to peace
and harmony, may we work toward the goal.

We pray you, hasten the day when all
the earth will join together and
make a joyful noise to you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 108; 150; 66; 23
Isa. 19:19-25
Rom. 15:5-13
Luke 19:11-27

Selected Verses
Ps. 66:1
 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth…  

Isa. 19:23
On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

Rom. 15:5
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus…

Luke 19:11
As [his disciples] were listening to this, [Jesus] went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.

Joy in a Dry and Weary Land--Nov. 21, 2015

[From Nov. 19, 2011 archive]

The land is dry and weary, and we are thirsty and tired;
but you invite us to come, take the water of life as a gift--
everyone who hears, come, and everyone who is thirsty.

And you tell us not to grieve, for your joy is our strength.
And we must have mercy on a fellow slave (who also is
in a dry and weary land), as you have had mercy on us.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 122; 149; 100; 63
Neh. 7:73b-8:3, 5-18
Rev. 22:14-21
Matt. 18:21-35

Selected Verses
Ps. 63:1
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
          my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
          as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Neh. 8:10b
"…and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."  [Nehemiah to the people who had wept when they heard the law]

Rev. 22:17
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
     And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
     And let everyone who is thirsty come.
     Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

Matt. 18:33
"'…Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’  …"
[In Jesus' parable about forgiveness, the king to a slave who owed him ten thousand talents]

Pray for the Little Ones--Nov. 20, 2015

[From Nov. 22, 2013 archive]

Great and mighty and awesome God,
keeping covenant and steadfast love,
your words are trustworthy and true.

It is not your will that one little one
should be lost; but many are hungry
or suffer abuse or illness or warfare.

God, accept our prayer for your little
ones; protect them, provide for them,
keep them always in your loving care.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 88; 148; 6; 20
Neh. 9:26-38
Rev. 22:6-13
Matt. 18:10-20

Selected Verses
Ps. 6:9
The LORD has heard my supplication;
          the LORD accepts my prayer.

Neh. 9:32a
"Now therefore, our God--the great and mighty and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love--do not treat lightly all the hardship that has come upon us…"  [Ezra's prayer in front of the assembled people of Israel]

Rev. 22:6
And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place."

Matt. 18:14
"…So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.  …"  [Jesus to his disciples]