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.

Grapes in the Wilderness, Choked by Thorns--Oct. 7, 2016

Like grapes in the wilderness, you found us,
but we have fallen among thorns,
rejecting all thoughts of justice and self-control,
to pursue cares and riches and pleasures
of life.  We have become no more than the things
to which we consecrated ourselves--they
have overwhelmed us.  Forgive us, O forgiving God.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 51; 148; 142; 65
Hosea 9:10-17
Acts 24:24-25:12
Luke 8:1-15
Selected Verses
Ps. 65:3
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
          you forgive our transgressions. 

Hosea 9:10
Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel.  Like the first fruit on the fig tree, in its first season, I saw your ancestors.  But they came to Baal-peor, and consecrated themselves to a thing of shame, and became detestable like the thing they loved. 

Acts 24:25
And as [Paul] discussed justice, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present; when I have an opportunity, I will send for you." 

Luke 8:14
"…As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.  …"  [Jesus to his disciples]

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