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.

January 03, 2007

I. Readings
Psalms 15, 107, 111
Genesis 28:10-22
Hebrews 11:13-22
John 10:7-17

II. Selections
Psalm 15:2
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart...

Genesis 28:20-21
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God..."

Hebrews 11:13
All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth...

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

III. Meditation: Promises

Teach us to speak the truth from our heart--
to walk blamelessly, and do what is right;
but even when we fail and do wrong,
to speak the truth from our heart.

We try to make promises to you...bargains, really.
If you will be with us, and keep us in the way we go,
and take care of our needs, and allow us to enjoy peace
(though we make war), we promise that you will be our God.

But the initiative is with you, and always has been.
You offer us your love and care--our role is to accept.
The world is full of those who steal and kill and destroy;
but you gave us Jesus that we may have life, and abundantly.

We who walk as strangers and foreigners on the earth,
we have seen your promises, seen them and greeted them,
if only from afar. You are not like us; you do what you promise;
you speak truth from your heart, and from your heart you sent Jesus.

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