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.

Shout Welcome!--Nov. 28, 2014

[From Nov. 30, 2012 archive]

Shout, stony heart of mine, shout--
shout out welcome, welcome, welcome!

Welcome in, King over all the earth;
welcome to all as I have been welcomed.

Better than a thousand elsewhere
is one day in your courts.

For the glory of God,
we are welcome.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 84; 148; 25; 40
Zech. 14:1-11
Rom. 15:7-13
Luke 19:28-40

Selected Verses
Ps. 84:10a
For a day in your courts is better
          than a thousand elsewhere.

Zech. 14:9a
And the LORD will become king over all the earth…

Rom. 15:7
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Luke 19:40
[Jesus] answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

When We Wound Our Friends--Nov. 27, 2014

     [From Nov. 29, 2012 archive]

Forgive us, Lord Jesus, when we wound
our friends and others we love.

Redeem us, heal us in your steadfast love.
We hope in you and pray for your
Spirit of wisdom.

Enlighten the eyes of our hearts; make us
trustworthy even in small things
you have left us to do.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 116; 147:12-20; 26; 130
Zech. 13:1-9
Eph. 1:15-23
Luke 19:11-27

Selected Verses
Ps. 130:7
O Israel, hope in the LORD!
          For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
          and with him is great power to redeem.

Zech. 13:6
And if anyone asks [the prophets], "What are these wounds on your chest?" the answer will be "The wounds I received in the house of my friends."

Eph. 1:18
…so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints…

Luke 19:17
"…[The nobleman] said to [his slave], 'Well done, good slave!  Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.'  …"  [Jesus to his disciples]

Short in Spiritual Stature--Nov. 26, 2014

 [From Nov. 28, 2012 archive]

Lord Jesus, how good it is to sing
your praises, for you are gracious
and our song of praise is fitting.

We are short in spiritual stature,
and the crowd of life around us
prevents us from seeing you.

Therefore pour out upon us a
spirit of compassion and of
supplication, that we may

bless God, who blesses
us in you with every
spiritual blessing.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 96; 147:1-11; 132; 134
Zech. 12:1-10
Eph. 1:3-14
Luke 19:1-10

Selected Verses
Ps. 147:1
Praise the Lord!
          How good it is to sing praises to our God;
          for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

Zech. 12:10
And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem…

Eph. 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…

Luke 19:3
[Zacchaeus] was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.

We Belong to Christ, and Christ Belongs to You--Nov. 25, 2014


You test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God;
may the evil of the wicked come to an end.

The blind beggar called to Jesus for mercy
and received it,
but those who killed Jesus had no pity on him.

Now all that matters belongs to us,
for we belong to Christ,
and Christ belongs to you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 12; 146; 36; 7
Zech. 11:4-17
1 Cor. 3:10-23
Luke 18:31-43

Selected Verses
Ps. 7:9
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
          but establish the righteous,
you who test the minds and hearts,
          O righteous God. 

Zech. 11:5
Those who buy [the sheep] kill them and go unpunished; and those who sell them say, "Blessed be the LORD, for I have become rich"; and their own shepherds have no pity on them. 

1 Cor. 3:22-23
…whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Luke 18:38
Then [the blind beggar] shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 

Strong, but Weak Like a Little Child--Nov. 24, 2014


Before you I pour out my heart, O God.
I trust in you--you are my refuge.

Make me strong, to walk in your name,
and to carry the burdens of others.

And make me weak, like a little child,
so that I may enter your kingdom.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 62; 145; 73; 9
Zech. 10:1-12
Gal. 6:1-10
Luke 18:15-30

Selected Verses
Ps. 62:8
Trust in him at all times, O people;
          pour out your heart before him;
          God is a refuge for us. Selah

Zech. 10:12
I will make them strong in the LORD,
     and they shall walk in his name,
                                                  says the LORD.

Gal. 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 

Luke 18:17
"…Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."  [Jesus to his disciples]

Come Riding into My Life--Nov. 23, 2014


Awaken my soul, Lord Jesus,
and give me a steadfast heart
and come riding into my life.

When they ask who you are,
take away my fear, Jesus,
and in my heart let me
sanctify you as Lord.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 108; 150; 66; 23
Zech. 9:9-16
1 Peter 3:13-22
Matt. 21:1-13

Selected Verses
Ps. 108:1
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
          I will sing and make melody.
          Awake, my soul! 

Zech. 9:9b
Lo, your king comes to you;
     triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
     on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 

1 Peter 3:14b-16a
Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord.  Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.

Matt. 21:10
When [Jesus] entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?"

Prayer Powerful and Effective--Nov. 22, 2014


Lord Jesus, you have built your church
to be like a city that is bound firmly together.

Forgive us when we hold one another in contempt;
teach us how to speak to one another in your love,

confessing our sins to one another, praying
for one another that we may be healed
and forgiven; for the prayer of the
righteous is powerful and effective.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 122; 149; 100; 63
Mal. 3:13-4:6
James 5:13-20
Luke 18:9-14

Selected Verses
Ps. 122:3
Jerusalem--built as a city
          that is bound firmly together. 

Mal. 3:16
Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. 

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

Luke 18:9
[Jesus] also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt…