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.

You Yielded up Your Body--Apr. 18, 2015


Lord Jesus Christ,
for your name's sake you lead us;
in right paths you lead us,
in paths of love,
you lead
us.

To lead us,
when put to the test,
you yielded up your body
and laid down your life for us.
Help us yield up our bodies
and lay down our lives
for one another
in paths of
love.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 92; 149; 23; 114
Dan. 3:19-30
1 John 3:11-18
Luke 4:1-13

Selected Verses
Ps. 23:3b
[The LORD] leads me in right paths
          for his name’s sake. 

Dan. 3:28
Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him.  They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

1 John 3:16
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us--and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 

Luke 4:12
Jesus answered [the devil], “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 

Prison, even Death--Apr. 17, 2015


Some have endured prison, even faced death,
rather than forswear their faith in you, O God.
.
They believed that you would not forsake them
but rather would fulfill your purpose for them.

I do not have that kind of courage, dear Father,
but am amazed how much love you have given.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 96; 148; 49; 138
Dan. 3:1-18
1 John 3:1-10
Luke 3:15-22

Selected Verses
Ps. 138:8
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
          your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
          Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Dan. 3:18
"…But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”  [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to the king]

1 John 3:1
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 

Luke 3:19-20
But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by [John] because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, added to them all by shutting up John in prison.

Awesome God, Revealer of Mysteries--Apr. 16, 2015


Holy God, truly you are God of gods,
Lord of kings--awesome God,
a revealer of mysteries.

You give power and strength
to your people, and reveal to them
things hidden from royalty and kings.

I do not ask for the answer to mysteries
or secrets, or for special knowledge;
 only give me strength to do
your will.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 47; 147:12-20; 68; 113
Dan. 2:31-49
1 John 2:18-29
Luke 3:1-14

Selected Verses
Ps. 68:35
Awesome is God in his sanctuary,
          the God of Israel;
          he gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!

Dan. 2:47
The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery!” 

1 John 2:20
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. 

Luke 3:1-2
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 

Deep and Hidden Things--Apr. 15, 2015


Righteous Father, Holy God,
you know deep and hidden things
and what is in the darkness; but light
dwells in you, and you have given us light.

The world and its desires may pass away,
for the world does not know you,
but Jesus knew you, and we
know you sent Jesus.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 99; 147:1-11; 9; 118
Dan. 2:17-30
1 John 2:12-17
John 17:20-26

Selected Verses
Ps. 118:27
The LORD is God,
          and he has given us light. 

Dan. 2:22
[God] reveals deep and hidden things;
          he knows what is in the darkness,
          and light dwells with him. 

1 John 2:17
And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.

John 17:25
“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me.  …"  [Jesus, praying for his disciples]

Our Advocate--Apr. 14, 2015


Jesus Christ the Righteous,
you have tested us, sending us into the world
even as God sent you.

We have failed the test,
over and over we fail it, though all you ask
is that we love as you loved.

The thing is too difficult,
no one could do it except one who dwells with God.
Praise God, you are our Advocate.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 98; 146; 66; 116
Dan. 2:1-16
1 John 2:1-11
John 17:12-19

Selected Verses
Ps. 66:10
For you, O God, have tested us;
          you have tried us as silver is tried. 

Dan. 2:11
"…The thing that the king is asking is too difficult, and no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.”  [His wise men to Nebuchadnezzar]

1 John 2:1
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.  But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…

John 17:18
"…As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  …"  [Jesus, praying for his disciples]

For Favor and Compassion--Apr. 13, 2015


Loving God, you are good to all,
and your compassion if over all you have made.
We thank you for the favor and compassion
that your servants have shown to us
in your name.

And we thank you for the message
we have received from them, that you are light
and that in you there is no darkness at all;

and that this is eternal life, to know
you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom you have sent.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 97; 145; 124; 115
Dan. 1:1-21
1 John 1:1-10
John 17:1-11

Selected Verses
Ps. 145:9
The LORD is good to all,
          and his compassion is over all that he has made.

Dan. 1:9
Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. 

1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

John 17:3
"…And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.  …"  [Jesus, praying for his disciples]

God, and henceforth God--Apr. 12, 2015


O God, you are God, and henceforth you are God,
and great is your steadfast love toward us,
and your faithfulness endures forever.

There is no one who can deliver
from your hand; you work
and who can hinder it?

But out of darkness
you have called us to be
your people, not for privilege,
but to proclaim your mighty acts.

And you have given us Jesus, who has
prepared a place for us, and who will come
and take us to himself, that we may be with him.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 93; 150; 136; 117
Isa. 43:8-13
1 Pet. 2:2-10
John 14:1-7

Selected Verses
Ps. 117:2
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
          and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!

Isa. 43:13
I am God, and also henceforth I am He;
          there is no one who can deliver from my hand;
          I work and who can hinder it?

1 Pet. 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 

John 14:3
"…And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.  …"  [Jesus to his disciples]