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.

Tested by Love, Tested in Love--May 25, 2016

[From May 28, 2008 archive]

As the crucible tests silver and the furnace tests gold,
you test the heart, O God.

We ponder as we worship, ponder why we are tested,
ponder your steadfast love.

How do they fit together—your testing and your love?
It presents a great mystery.

And still a greater mystery—Christ was revealed in flesh
and finally taken up in glory.

We ponder the latter mystery and understand the test to be:
Can we do your will in love?

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 15; 147:1-11; 48; 4
Prov. 17:1-20
1 Tim. 3:1-16
Matt. 12:43-50
Selected Verses
Ps. 48:9
We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
            in the midst of your temple.

Prov. 17:3
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
            but the LORD tests the heart.

1 Tim. 3:16
Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great:
            He was revealed in flesh,
            vindicated in spirit,
            seen by angels,
            proclaimed among Gentiles,
            believed in throughout the world,
            taken up in glory.

Matt. 12:50
“…For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
 [Jesus, to the one who had told him his mother and brothers were waiting to see him]

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