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.

October 03, 2006

I. Readings
Psalms 7, 12, 36
Hosea 2:16-23
Acts 21:1-14
Luke 5:12-26

II. Selections
Psalm 36:1
Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God
before their eyes.

Hosea 2:18
I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety.

Acts 21:5b-6
There [outside Tyre] we knelt down on the beach and prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we [Paul and companions] went on board the ship, and they [disciples and their families from Tyre] returned home.

Luke 5:22
When Jesus perceived [the questionings of the scribes and Pharisees], he answered them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? ... "

III. Meditation: Fear of you

The fear of you before our eyes,
purge from our hearts all wicked thoughts;
transgression's voice that speaks to us
in cynical and doubting tone
from deep within our hearts remove,
and make us cling to you alone.

And if the fear be too severe,
remind us of your covenant
with animals and flying birds
and creatures creeping on the ground;
abolish bow and sword and war,
that safely we may all lie down,

or kneel together on the beach
to pray our prayers with ones we love;
then say farewell and board our ship,
separated, not alone--for you are near
to see us all our journey through,
whom in our hearts we trust and fear.

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