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.

May 14, 2008

I. Readings
Psalms 96, 132, 134
Ezekiel 34:1-16
1 John 2:12-17
Matthew 10:5-15

II. Selections
Psalm 134:2
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the LORD.

Ezekiel 34:4
You [the shepherds of Israel] have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them.

1 John 2:16
...for all that is in the world--the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches--comes not from the Father but from the world.

Matthew 10:8
" ...Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. ... " [Jesus to the twelve as he sent them out]

III. Meditation: When at night in a holy place

When at night in a holy place
we lift up our hands to bless you,
help us consider what our hands
that day have done for you.

What have our hands done
to strengthen the weak,
heal the sick, bind up the injured,
bring back the strayed, seek the lost?

Without payment we have received;
without payment have we given?

Have our hands been too occupied
with the desire of the flesh,
the desire of the eyes,
the pride in riches?

Have we used our power--
individual or corporate power--
to rule with force and harshness?

Enrich us with the wealth
that comes from you,
not from the world.

Then may we stand in a holy place,
raise up our hands, and bless you.

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