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.

The Right To Be Joyful--Sept. 23, 2010

I. Readings

Psalms 143, 147:12-20, 81, 116
Esther 7:1-10
Acts 19:11-20
Luke 4:14-30

II. Selections
Psalm 81:1
Sing aloud to God our strength;
      shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

Esther 7:3-4a
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. … ”

Acts 19:13a
Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”

Luke 4:18b-19
“…[The Lord] has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
      and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [Jesus reading from Isaiah]

III. Meditation

We sing aloud, we shout for joy, for you are our strength.
But in our joy, remind us why you have made us strong.

If we misuse your gifts or your name for our own privilege,
if we fail to proclaim release to the captives, if we do not work

to let the oppressed go free, if we forget the millions
who have been sold to be destroyed, killed, annihilated—

then take away our joy until we change our ways.

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