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.

Banquet Invitation Declined--Nov. 7, 2016

[From Nov. 10, 2014 archive]

We throw dust on our heads, weep, mourn, cry out
alas, alas!
So much wealth and greatness
laid waste.
Even the wild animals cry to you
for water.
The mountains melt like wax before you,
Lord of all.
You issued the invitation:
“Come, for everything is ready.”
We make excuses.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 135; 145; 97; 112
Joel 1:15-2:2
Rev. 18:15-24
Luke 14:12-24

Selected Verses
Psalm 97:5
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
            before the Lord of all the earth.

Joel 1:20
Even the wild animals cry to you,
            because the watercourses are dried up,
and fire has devoured
            the pastures of the wilderness.

Rev. 18:19
And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out,
            “Alas, alas, the great city,
                        where all who had ships at sea
                        grew rich by her wealth!
            For in one hour she has been laid waste.”

Luke 14:17-18a
“…At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’  But they all alike began to make excuses.      [Jesus telling a dinner guest the parable of the Great Dinner]

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