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 Loved Ones Depart--Sept. 15, 2016


Before Jesus departed from a crowd of listeners,
he advised them about what to do in his absence.
Before Paul and Silas departed from their friends,
they took time to visit with and encourage them.
God, we thank you for the chance to say farewell
to loved ones, but separation can make us weep.
Give us wisdom and understanding
to remember in our sorrow--
even if mother and father
forsake us, you will
take us up.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 36; 147:12-20; 80; 27
Job 28:1-28
Acts 16:25-40
John 12:27-36a

Selected Verses
Ps. 27:10
If my father and mother forsake me,
          the LORD will take me up.

Job 28:28
"…And [God] said to humankind, 'Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"  [Job speaking for God]

Acts 16:40
After leaving the prison [Paul and Silas] went to Lydia's home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

John 12:35-36a
Jesus said to [the crowd], "The light is with you for a little longer.  Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you.  If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going.  While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light."  After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

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