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.

You Only Want Our Lives--Aug. 15, 2016

Truly you astonish us, Lord Jesus;
you astonish us, and your works astonish us.
We rejoice in you and give thanks to your holy name.
Forgive us when we presume to manipulate you
by indulging in pious acts and ritual,
when all you want us to do is
to give you our lives.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 135; 145; 97; 112
Judg. 17:1-13
Acts 7:44-8:1a
John 5:19-29
Selected Verses
Ps. 97:12
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
          and give thanks to his holy name!

Judg. 17:13
Then Micah said, "Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, because the Levite has become my priest."

Acts 7:59
While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

John 5:20
The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.

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