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.

God, Relieve the Troubles of my Heart--March 1, 2016

Relieve the troubles of my heart,
prays the psalmist, bring me
out of my distress.

Like Joseph, there are times when
we can no longer control ourselves
in front of others--we want to be
either completely alone, or only
with the ones closest to our heart.

Paul wants us to be free from anxiety,
but if we are going to be anxious,
let it be over things that matter to you, God.
But even in these matters, says Jesus,
there are times to shake the dust off our feet
and leave our anxiety behind us.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 34; 146; 25; 91
Gen. 45:1-15
1 Cor. 7:32-40
Mark 6:1-13

Selected Verses
Ps. 25:17
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
          and bring me out of my distress. 

Gen. 45:1a
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, "Send everyone away from me." 

1 Cor. 7:32-33
I want you to be free from anxieties.  The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife…

Mark 6:11
"…If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them."  [Jesus to the twelve]

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