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.

Why Not Yourself, Jesus?--July 26, 2016

[From July 31, 2012 archive]

Jesus, you were wise in what is good,
and you were guileless in what is evil.

You were moved with pity by the groaning
of those who were persecuted and oppressed.

But with mischief in their hearts, workers of evil
mocked you--if you saved others, why not yourself?

We have often heard the answer, yet plaintively ask anew:
Why did not God deliver you from the hand of your enemies?

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 54; 146; 28; 99
Judg. 2:1-5, 11-23
Rom. 16:17-27
Matt. 27:32-44
Selected Verses
Ps. 28:3
Do not drag me away with the wicked,
          with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors,
          while mischief is in their hearts.

Judg. 2:18
Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD would be moved to pity by their groaning because of those who persecuted and oppressed them.

Rom. 16:19b
…I want you to be wise in what is good and guileless in what is evil.

Matt. 27:41-42a
In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking [Jesus], saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.  …"

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