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.

Our Plans, or Yours--Sept. 20, 2016


We have many plans and expectations, O God,
but so often our plans perish, our expectations
are disappointed.

Sometimes these are selfish plans, sometimes
seemingly noble--but either way, our plans,
not your plans.

Teach us to trust in you, our help and our hope,
 our Lord and our God, and in your will for us,
O God of Jacob.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 54; 146; 28; 99
Esth. 5:1-14
Acts 18:12-28
Luke 3:15-22
           
Selected Verses
Ps. 146:4-5
When [mortals'] breath departs, they return to the earth;
          on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
          whose hope is in the LORD their God…

Esth. 5:11
…and Haman recounted to [his wife and friends] the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the ministers of the king. 

Acts 18:20-21
When [the Jews in Ephesus] asked [Paul] to stay longer, he declined; but on taking leave of them, he said, "I will return to you, if God wills."  Then he set sail from Ephesus.

Luke 3:15-16a
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.  …"

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