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.

Like a City Shut Up Inside and Out--July 16, 2016

[From July 19, 2008 archive]

When our lives are like a city shut up inside and out,
from which no one comes out and no one goes in,
you come to us with a loaf of bread, bless it,
break it, and tell us to eat because it is your body.
We give you thanks, Lord Jesus, with our whole heart.

Before the false gods of our lives we sing your praise;
you open the gate of our heart to your presence,
you enable us to pay to all what is due them:
to pay taxes and revenue and respect and honor.
We receive all we need from you; to pay is no burden.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 104; 149; 138; 98
Josh. 6:1-14
Rom. 13:1-7
Matt. 26:26-35
           
Selected Verses
Ps. 138:1
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
            before the gods I sing your praise…

Josh. 6:1
Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in.

Rom. 13:7
Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Matt. 26:26
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.”

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