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.

Scoundrels or Villains?--May 18, 2016

We hope not to be scoundrels or villains, dear God,
but we admit our speech is not always straight;
yes, and at times we point fingers--perhaps
with our scoffing we even sow discord?

Are your commandments such burdens
we cannot obey them?  Remind us of your
deeds of power, the strength you can give us.
Open our eyes to see ourselves as you see us--
make us ready to repent our lack of love for you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 89:1-18; 147:1-11; 1; 33
Prov. 6:1-19
1 John 5:1-12
Matt. 11:16-24
Selected Verses
Ps. 1:1
Happy are those
          who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
          or sit in the seat of scoffers…

Prov. 6:12-14
A scoundrel and a villain
            goes around with crooked speech,
winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,
            pointing the fingers,
with perverted mind devising evil,
            continually sowing discord…

1 John 5:3
For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome…

Matt. 11:20
Then [Jesus] began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent.

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