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.

Triumph Over Enemies--July 27, 2010

I. Readings

Psalms 54, 146, 28, 99
Judges 2:1-5, 11-23
Romans 16:17-27
Matthew 27:32-44

II. Selections
Psalm 54:7
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
      and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Judges 2:17b
[The Israelites] soon turned aside from the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD; they did not follow their example.

Romans 16:19
For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil.

Matthew 27:33-34
And when [the soldiers leading Jesus] came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.

III. Meditation

You have delivered me from many troubles,
but I cannot say my eye has looked in triumph
on all my enemies—not on my selfishness or pride.

I am not wise in what is good, or guileless in what is evil.
I have not followed the way in which my ancestors walked—
who obeyed your commandments—or followed their examples.

Make me more like the one who did look in triumph on his enemies,
even though he is the very one they led captive to a place called Golgotha.

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