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.

Where Are You, and Who Are We?--Mar. 1, 2015


 God of mystery and might,
sometimes we wonder who we are,
and whose we are, and where you are,
so remind us--you formed us in the womb,
and before we were born you knew us;
and if we do your will we are brother
and sister and mother of Jesus;
and we belong to Christ;
and Christ belongs to you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 84; 150; 42; 32
Jer. 1:1-10
1 Cor. 3:11-23
Mark 3:31-4:9

Selected Verses
Ps. 42:3
My tears have been my food
          day and night,
while people say to me continually,
          “Where is your God?”

Jer. 1:5
 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
  and before you were born I consecrated you;
  I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 
              [The LORD to Jeremiah]

1 Cor. 3:23
…and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Mark 3:35
"…Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”  [Jesus to the crowd]

Obedience, Love, Worship, Commitment--Feb. 28, 2015

[From Feb. 23, 2013 archive]

Jesus, you learned obedience
through what you suffered;
teach me to be obedient.

Teach me to love my God,
to walk in God's ways,
to hold fast to God.

Show me how to worship you
as you seek all to worship,
in spirit and in truth.

You have redeemed me;
I commit my spirit
into your hand.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 43; 149; 31; 143
Deut. 11:18-28
Heb. 5:1-10
John 4:1-26

Selected Verses
Ps. 31:5
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
            you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

Deut. 11:22
If you will diligently observe this entire commandment that I am commanding you, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him…

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

John 4:23
"…But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.  …"  [Jesus to the Samaritan woman]

That We May Find Rest--Feb. 27, 2015


God of gods and Lord of lords,
Great God, mighty and awesome--
you treat all with fairness and honesty,
you execute justice for orphans and widows
and you provide them with food and clothing.

O my God, I cry to you by day,
but you do not answer,
and by night, but find no rest.

Lord, you sent us Jesus, in every respect
tested as we are tested, yet without sin.
He speaks your words, and he gives
the Spirit without measure. 
Pray give me the Spirit,
that I may find rest.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 22; 148; 105; 130
Deut. 10:12-22
Heb. 4:11-16
John 3:22-36

Selected Verses
Ps. 22:2
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
          and by night, but find no rest.

Deut. 10:17-18
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing. 

Heb. 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.

John 3:34
He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

I Seek Your Face--Feb. 26, 2015


I seek your face, O God;
do not hide your face from me.
I have been rebellious against you,
I have not benefited from your message--
I was not united with those who listened to it.
I have loved darkness rather than the light
that has come into the world.
Forgive me, Jesus.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 27; 147:12-20; 126; 102
Deut. 9:23-10:5
Heb. 4:1-10
John 3:16-21

Selected Verses
Ps. 27:8-9a
 “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
          Your face, LORD, do I seek.
          Do not hide your face from me.

Deut. 9:24
You have been rebellious against the LORD as long as he has known you.

Heb. 4:2
For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 

John 3:19
And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 

Born of the Spirit--Feb. 25, 2015


Living God,
God of abundant
love, of steadfast love,
we bow in awe before you.
Yet even as we bow we confess
we have been quick to turn away from
you and from the way you have commanded.
May we be born from above, born of the Spirit,
that we may turn from our sin and be faithful to you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 5; 147:1-11; 27; 51
Deut. 9:13-21
Heb. 3:12-19
John 2:23-3:15

Selected Verses
Ps. 5:1
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
          will enter your house,
I will bow down toward your holy temple
          in awe of you. 

Deut. 9:16
Then I saw that you had indeed sinned against the LORD your God, by casting for yourselves an image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way that the LORD had commanded you.  [Moses to the Israelites]

Heb. 3:12
Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 

John 3:7-8
"…Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’  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]

When Our Task Looks Hopeless--Feb. 24, 2015


When the task before us looks impossibly big,
let us magnify your name, Lord Jesus;
let us exalt in your name together.

For we are your house
if we hold firm the confidence
and the pride that belong to hope.   

We will hope in you, for when they
destroyed the temple of your
body, God raised you up.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 34; 146; 25; 91
Deut. 9:1-12
Heb. 3:1-11
John 2:13-22

Selected Verses
Ps. 34:3
O magnify the LORD with me,
          and let us exalt his name together. 

Deut. 9:1
Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross the Jordan today, to go in and dispossess nations larger and mightier than you, great cities, fortified to the heavens…

Heb. 3:6
Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

John 2:19
Jesus answered [those who objected to his cleansing the temple], “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 
You Keep the Best Wine to Last--Feb. 23, 2015
[From Feb. 18, 2013 archive] 

You humble and test us,
feed us in the wilderness;
but your judgments are right.

In the end you do us good,
even if it means keeping
the best wine until last.

And the best is this--
the one who sanctifies
and we who are sanctified

all have the same Father;
hence Jesus is not ashamed
to call us brothers and sisters.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 119:73-80; 145; 121; 6
Deut. 8:1-20
Heb. 2:11-18
John 2:1-12

Selected Verses
Ps. 119:75
 I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right,
          and that in faithfulness you have humbled me.

Deut. 8:2
Remember the long way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.

Heb. 2:11
For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters…

John 2:9-10
When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”