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.

Make Wars Cease, O God--Sept. 18, 2016

Mighty God, you make wars cease.
Pray break the bows, shatter the spears
that destroy, kill, and annihilate people today--
young and old, women and children, orphans and
widows, all those whom you have commended to us
for protection and care when they are in distress.
To provide such protection and care without
"showing off" is a challenge hard to meet,
but we must do all we can to ease
the suffering.  God help us.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 67; 150; 46; 93
Esth. 3:1-4:3
James 1:19-27
Matt. 6:1-6, 16-18
Selected Verses
Ps. 46:9
[The LORD] makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
          he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
          he burns the shields with fire. 

Esth. 3:13
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces, giving orders to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.  …

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Matt. 6:1
"…Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  …"  [Jesus to the crowds on the mountain]

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