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.

Reasons to Plead for God's Mercy--Aug. 12, 2016

 God of steadfast love, there are many reasons
I might kneel to plead for your mercy:
a loved one is sick or even dying;
or my intentions were good,
but then the outcome was not,
and so I ask for your forgiveness;
yet my greatest need to kneel is when,
having supposed myself to be blameless,
my self-righteousness has led to vengeance.
God of compassion, blot out my transgressions.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 51; 148; 142; 65
Judg. 14:20-15:20
Acts 7:17-29
John 4:43-54
Selected Verses
Ps. 51:1
Have mercy on me, O God,
          according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
          blot out my transgressions. 

Judg. 15:3
Samson said to [his wife's father and family], "This time, when I do mischief to the Philistines, I will be without blame." 

Acts 7:24-25
"…When [Moses] saw one of [the Israelites] being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian.  He supposed that his kinsfolk would understand that God through him was rescuing them, but they did not understand.

John 4:49-50a
The [royal] official said to [Jesus], "Sir, come down before my little boy dies."  Jesus said to him, "Go; your son will live." 

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