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 09, 2008

I. Readings
Psalms 16, 62, 97
Hosea 9:1-9
Acts 24:1-23
Luke 7:36-50

II. Selections
Psalm 62:3
How long will you assail a person,
will you batter your victim, all of you,
as you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

Hosea 9:7
The days of punishment have come,
the days of recompense have come;
Israel cries,
"The prophet is a fool,
the man of the spirit is mad!"
Because of your great iniquity,
your hostility is great.

Acts 24:5
" ...We have, in fact, found this man [ Paul] a pestilent fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. ... " [ Tertullus, attorney for the high priest, Ananias, speaking before Governor Felix at Caesarea]

Luke 7:38
[ A woman in the city, who was a sinner,] stood behind [ Jesus] at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

III. Meditation: Because our iniquity is great

The days of punishment have come,
the days of recompense have come,
and how shall we respond?
Because our iniquity is great
shall our hostility be great?

Shall we seek a troublemaker
upon whom to place the blame?
Shall we find an agitator,
cry, "The prophet is a fool?"

How long will we assail him,
as we would a leaning wall--
how long batter him,
till the tottering fence falls down?

Or should we stand behind the prophet,
weeping, and begin to bathe his feet,
kiss them as we dry them with our hair
and anoint them with our ointment
...because our iniquity is great?

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