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.

When Overtaken by Iniquities--Aug. 5, 2016

[From Aug. 10, 2012 archive]

My iniquities have overtaken me until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.
It feels as if all seventy sons of Jerubbaal ruled over me, instead of one.

Lord Jesus, attune me to the words of Mary. "Do whatever he tells you,"
she told the servants; and they did; and you performed a miracle.

Grant me a portion of the boldness you gave Peter and John,
ordinary, uneducated men filled with your Holy Spirit;
and forgive my sin, that I may serve only you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 84; 148; 25; 40
Judg. 9:1-16; 19-21
Acts 4:13-31
John 2:1-12

Selected Verses
Ps. 40:12b,c
…my iniquities have overtaken me,
          until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
          and my heart fails me.

Judg. 9:2a
"Say in the hearing of all the lords of Shechem, 'Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?'  …"  [Abimelech to his mother's clan, referring to his half brothers]

Acts 4:13
Now when [the high priest and all his subordinates] saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus.

John 2:5
[Jesus'] mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

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