I am an emeritus professor from Cornell University and was 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.

God Sent You, Lord Jesus--Jan. 17, 2018


God sent you, Lord Jesus;
you give the Spirit without measure.
Take away our inclination to sluggishness
and the temptation to curse innocents
over our own shortcomings.

Teach us to imitate
the faith and patience of others,
to hold you in awe, and to hope
in your steadfast love.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 15; 147:1-11; 48; 4
Gen. 9:18-29
Heb. 6:1-12
John 3:22-36

Selected Verses
Ps. 147:11
…but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
          in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Gen. 9:24-25
When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said,
"Cursed be Canaan;
          lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers."

Heb. 6:12
…so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

John 3:34
"…He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.  …"  [John the Baptist to his disciples and a questioner]

With an Undivided Heart, to Walk in Your Truth--Jan. 16, 2018


Merciful, gracious, and loving God,
in your own image you made humankind,
and you gave us Jesus so that we might learn
from him to be obedient through suffering,
and with an undivided heart to walk in
your truth and to revere your name,
for through him is our salvation.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 123; 146; 30; 86
Gen. 9:1-17
Heb. 5:7-14
John 3:16-21

Selected Verses
Ps. 86:11
Teach me your way, O LORD,
          that I may walk in your truth;
          give me an undivided heart to revere your name. 

Gen. 9:6
Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's blood be shed; for in his own image God made humankind. 

Heb. 5:8
Although [Jesus] was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered…

John 3:17
"…Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  …"  [Jesus to Nicodemus] 

Born of the Spirit--Jan. 15, 2018

Of some things we can be sure,
as long as the earth endures:
seedtime and then harvest,
summer and then winter,
or day and then night.

But this is equally certain:
 if we make our life goals wealth and privilege,
or status and honor, or luxury and pleasure;
if what we seek most is fame and glory,
or praise for our own achievements,
then these idols we worship
are doomed to fail us.

Jesus, you did not glorify yourself,
but you taught us how to live--
to be born of your Spirit,
and to follow where
the Spirit leads.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 135; 145; 97; 112
Gen. 8:6-22
Heb. 4:14-5:6
John 2:23-3:1-15

Selected Verses
Ps. 135:18
Those who make [idols]
          and all who trust them
          shall become like them.

Gen. 8:22
"…As long as the earth endures,
          seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night,
          shall not cease."
                                    [The LORD]

Heb. 5:5
So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
            "You are my Son,
                 today I have begotten you" …

John 2:8
"…The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."  [Jesus to Nicodemus]

Prisoners in the Lord--Jan. 14, 2018

From Jan. 20, 2008 archive]

We hear no speech, nor any words;
yet your voice comes to call us out.

Sometimes you call us to safety,
to escape the waters of a flood;

sometimes you call us only to
lead a life worthy of your call.

No matter, you have called those
you want; we are your prisoners.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 19; 150; 81; 113
Gen. 7:1-10, 17-23
Eph. 4:1-16
Mark 3:7-19

Selected Verses
Ps. 19:3-4
There is no speech, nor are there words;
            [the voice of the heavens and firmament] is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
            and their words to the end of the world.

Gen. 7:7
And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.

Eph. 4:1
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called…

Mark 3:13
[Jesus] went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.

Send Forth Your Spirit and Renew--Jan. 13, 2018


Your word, O God, is living and active;
 you know the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Before you no creature is hidden; all are naked, laid bare.
You see that our world is corrupt and full of violence;
we have made your creation into a marketplace,
where billionaires rule over the poor.

For the sake of the poor,
do not hide your face from them;
rather send forth your Spirit and renew--
 O God, renew your people, that we
may renew the goodness
of your creation.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 104; 149; 138; 98
Gen. 6:9-22
Heb. 4:1-13
John 2:13-22

Selected Verses
Ps. 104:29-30
When you hide your face, [your creatures] are dismayed;
          when you take away their breath, they die
          and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
          and you renew the face of the ground.

Gen. 6:11
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence.

Heb. 4:12-13
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

John 2:14-16
In the temple [Jesus] found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.  Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  He told those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!"

Restore to Us the Joy of Your Salvation--Jan. 12, 2018


How may we find favor with you, Jesus?
Is it by exhorting one another not to be
hardened by the deceitfulness of sin?
Will that help us do whatever you tell us;
will it save us from our unbelieving hearts?
However it happens, pray restore to us the joy
of your salvation, and sustain in us a willing spirit.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 51; 148; 142; 65
Gen. 6:1-8
Heb. 3:12-19
John 2:1-12

Selected Verses
Ps. 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
          and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Gen. 6:8
But Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.

Heb. 3:12-13
Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

John 2:5
[Jesus'] mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

The World Is Your Family--Jan. 11, 2018


Sovereign God, you are the builder of all things;
you have created us to live together in families.
You have given us your Son, that through him.
all may live together as your family.

We come to him, and we see;
we pour out our hearts to him;
at all times we trust in him;
he is a refuge to us.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 97; 147:12-20; 16; 62
Gen. 4:17-26
Heb. 3:1-11
John 1:43-51

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

Gen. 4:25-26a
Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him."  To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh.

Heb. 3:4
(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 

John 1:46
Nathanael said to [Philip], "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."