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.
Peace for the War Within Me--Oct. 27, 2016

I love you, O God, because you have heard my voice,
and when you do not seem to hear, I try to love you.
I love you, and I need you, because when I try to
keep your commandments of love and justice,
when I want to heed all your good tidings
of peace, there is a war within me.
Send your Holy Spirit to teach
me what I ought to say
and what I ought
to do.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 116; 147:12-20; 26; 130
Nahum 1:15-2:12
Rev. 12:7-17
Luke 11:53-12:12

Selected Verses
Ps. 116:1
I love the LORD, because he has heard
          my voice and my supplications.

Nahum 1:15a
Look!  On the mountains the feet of one
     who brings good tidings,
     who proclaims peace!

Rev. 12:17
Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.

Luke 12:12
"…for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say."  [Jesus to his disciples]

Nourished with Your Peace--Oct. 26, 2016

Holy God, we worship you and hold you in awe.
Pray break the yoke of sin, snap the bonds that bind us,
for trivial concerns so captivate us that we neglect
justice for the downtrodden and even our love for you.
Make us clean inside, nourished with your peace.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 96; 147:1-11; 132; 134
Nahum 1:1-14
Rev. 12:1-6
Luke 11:37-52
Selected Verses
Ps. 96:9
  Worship the LORD in holy splendor;
          tremble before him, all the earth.

Nahum 1:13
"…And now I will break off his yoke from you
     and snap the bonds that bind you."
[The LORD to the people of Nineveh]

Rev. 12:6
…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

Luke 11:41-42
"…So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.  But woe to you Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.  …"  [Jesus, at table with Pharisees and lawyers]


In Your Light We See Life--Oct. 25, 2016

We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty,
who are and who were.
You are gracious and merciful, slow to anger and
abounding in steadfast love.
With you is the fountain of life; in your light
we see life.
Grant that whatever light from you is in us
 may shine for all to see life, too.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 12; 146; 36; 7
Jonah 3:1-4:11
Rev. 11:14-19
Luke 11:27-36

Selected Verses
Ps. 36:9
 For with you is the fountain of life;
          in your light we see light.

Jonah 4:12b
"…That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.  …"  [Jonah to God]

Rev. 11:17
…singing, "We give you thanks, Lord God Almighty, who are and who were, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.  …"  [The 24 elders, before God] 

Luke 11:33
"No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.  …"  [Jesus to the crowds]

Jesus, I Need No Other Sign--Oct. 24, 2016

[From Oct. 29, 2012 archive]

Lord Jesus, I need no other sign from heaven.
I trust you, pour out my heart before you.
When out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
you heard me, you answered me.

In distress, you are my refuge.
When the beast comes up from the
bottomless pit to conquer and kill me,
yet will I trust you, for you are my refuge.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 62; 145; 73; 9
Jonah 1:17-2:10
Rev. 11:1-14
Luke 11:14-26

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

Jonah 2:1-2
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,
"I called to the Lord out of my distress,
            and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
            and you heard my voice.  …"

Rev. 11:7
When [the two witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them…

Luke 11:16
Others, to test [Jesus], kept demanding from him a sign from heaven.

You with Us, We with You--Oct. 23, 2016

[From Oct. 28, 2012 archive]

When alone in the darkest valley,
you are with us.

When we gather as two or three,
you are among us.

When we flee from you to Tarshish,
you do not leave us.

And when we partake of the one bread,
we are with you, one body.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 108; 150; 66; 23
Jonah 1:1-17a
1 Cor. 10:15-24
Matt. 18:15-20

Selected Verses
Ps. 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
          I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
          your rod and your staff —
          they comfort me.

Jonah 1:3
But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.  He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

1 Cor. 10:17
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

Matt. 18:20
"…For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."  [Jesus to his disciples]

Open the Door to Peace--Oct. 22, 2016

[From Oct. 25, 2008 archive]

God of our salvation, we will look to you,
we will wait for you, and you will hear us.
We have your promise: ask, search, knock,
and it will be given, we will find, and you
will open the door for us.

What we receive from you may be bitter
in the belly, though honey in the mouth—
but if it comes from you, it will be good.

So today we pray for peace in Jerusalem;
we pray for Arab and Jew, for all who
live where the ancient walls and towers
once afforded security to those inside;
open there the door to peace.

Lectionary Readings
Psalms 63, 100, 122
Micah 7:1-7
Revelation 10:1-11
Luke 11:1-13

Selected Verses
Psalm 122:6-7
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
            “May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
            and security within your towers.”

Micah 7:7
But as for me, I will look to the LORD,
            I will wait for the God of my salvation;
            my God will hear me.

Revelation 10:10
So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.

Luke 11:9
“…So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  … ”

You Have Told Us What Is Good--Oct. 21, 2016

[From Oct. 24, 2014 archive]

We are worried, distracted by many things;
some take pride in our armed forces,
and some in our atomic weapons;
some in technology, others in
our gross national product.

Make us repent, Lord,
for you have told us what
is good and what you require--
to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with you, our God.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 88; 148; 6; 20
Micah 6:1-8
Rev. 9:13-21
Luke 10:38-42

Selected Verses
Ps. 20:7
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
          but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God. 

Micah 6:8
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
     and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
     and to walk humbly with your God?

Rev. 9:20
The rest of humankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands or give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk.

Luke 10:41
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things…"