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.

Food the Son of Man Will Give Us--March 28, 2017


We have heard your word for us, O God;
your preachers have stood in the gates to tell us.
To receive your word, we must be humble,
lest through pride we fail to do the good we want,
and the evil we do not want is what we do--
lest we spend our lives for the food that perishes,
not the food that endures for eternal life.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 34; 136; 25; 91
Jer. 17:19-27
Rom. 7:13-25
John 6:16-27

Selected Verses
Ps. 25:9
[The LORD] leads the humble in what is right,
          and teaches the humble his way. 

Jer. 17:19-20
Thus said the LORD to me: Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, and say to them: Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 

Rom. 7:19
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 

John 6:27a
"…Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  …"  [Jesus to the crowd that had followed him across the sea]

No Gods, or the True God--March 27, 2017


The gods we make for ourselves to worship--
fame, fortune, excitement, revenge--are no gods.
When we see the signs that you have done, Lord Jesus,
and we know that you have come into the world for us,
and we experience the new life in the Spirit,
then we know the true God.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 119:73-80; 145; 121; 6
Jer. 16:1-21
Rom. 7:1-12
John 6:1-15

Selected Verses
Ps. 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills —
          from where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
          who made heaven and earth.

Jer. 16:20
 Can mortals make for themselves gods?
          Such are no gods!

Rom. 7:6
But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

John 6:14
When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

To Resist Sin's Yoke of Slavery--March 26, 2017


Our Lord Jesus Christ,
we are slow to understand
that you are in the midst of us,
and we are called by your name;
for freedom you have set us free.
In you we will be glad, rejoice,
 and shout for joy, resisting
sin's yoke of slavery.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 84; 150; 42; 32
Jer. 14:1-22
Gal. 4:21-5:1
Mark 8:11-21

Selected Verses
Ps. 32:11
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,
          and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Jer. 14:9b
Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us,
          and we are called by your name;
          do not forsake us!

Gal. 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Mark 8:21
Then [Jesus] said to [his disciples], “Do you not yet understand?”

The Free Gift: Eternal Life in Christ--March 25, 2017


When we walk about in mourning,
lamenting that you have cast us off,
remind us--you have made us to be
a people, a name, a praise, a glory,
a people who would cling to you
as loincloths cling to the loins,
but we do not listen.

Remind us also, O God,
as we seek our own glory,
that you have given us Jesus,  
who came to glorify not himself,
but you, as you glorified him.

Free us from sin,
and enslave us to you,
for the wages of sin is death,
but your free gift is eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 43; 149; 31; 143
Jer. 13:1-11
Rom. 6:12-23
John 8:47-59

Selected Verses
Ps. 43:2
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
          why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
          because of the oppression of the enemy?

Jer. 13:11
For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.  [The LORD to Jeremiah]

Rom. 6:22-23
But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification.  The end is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 8:54
Jesus answered [his critics in the temple], "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, 'He is our God…'"

To Walk with Newness in Life--March 24, 2017


Be not far from us when trouble is near
 and there is no one to help, O Lord.
Teach us to listen for your voice,
and to do what you command,
that we may be your people
and you may be our God.

By baptism into death
of our old ways, bury us
 with Christ; then as Christ
was raised from the dead,
let us walk with him in
newness of life. If the
 Son makes us free,
we will be free
indeed.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 22; 148; 105; 130
Jer. 11:1-8, 14-17
Rom. 6:1-11
John 8:33-47

Selected Verses
Ps. 22:11
Do not be far from me,
          for trouble is near
          and there is no one to help.

Jer. 11:3-4
You shall say to [the people of Judah], Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be anyone who does not heed the words of this covenant, which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron-smelter, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you.  So shall you be my people, and I will be your God…

Rom. 6:4
Therefore we have been buried with [Christ Jesus] by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

John 8:36
"…So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  …"  [Jesus to his critics in the temple]

Dominion of Death, Dominion of Life--March 23, 2017


We know, O God, that the way of human beings
is not in our control, that we mortals as
we walk cannot direct our steps.

We also know that you have not left us alone,
that even if our fathers and mothers
forsake us, you will not.

Though sin exercises dominion in death,
your grace exercises dominion
that leads to eternal life
through Christ.

Make us more like Jesus, who always 
did what was pleasing to you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 27; 147:12-20; 126; 102
Jer. 10:11-24
Rom. 5:12-21
John 8:21-32

Selected Verses
Ps. 27:10
 If my father and mother forsake me,
          the LORD will take me up.

Jer. 10:23
 I know, O LORD, that the way of human beings is not in their control,
          that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps. 

Rom. 5:21
…so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 8:29
"…And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him."  [Jesus, to his critics in the temple] 

Hope that Will Not Disappoint Us--March 22, 2017


Restore to us, O God,
the joy of your salvation;
sustain in us a willing spirit.
When we fall, help us rise again;
when we go astray, help us turn back.

Through Jesus we know you, and we know
 your Holy Spirit; pour your love into our hearts;
full of your love, our hope will never disappoint us.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 5; 147:1-11; 27; 51
Jer. 8:4-7, 18-9:6
Rom. 5:1-11
John 8:12-20

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

Jer. 8:4
You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD:
     When people fall, do they not get up again?
          If they go astray, do they not turn back? 

Rom. 5:5
…and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

John 8:19
Then [his critics] said to [Jesus], “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father.  If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”