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.

Do You Chop down the Tree that Doesn't Bear?--Nov. 1, 2016

Do you bring the way of the wicked to ruin, God?
I believe that you watch over the stranger,
uphold the orphan and the widow,
and urge us to do likewise,
but do you punish
if we fail? 

If a tree bears
no fruit, do you cut
it down, and is your day
of reckoning fast approaching?
Great and amazing are your deeds,
O God, and true and just are your ways.
Forgive me, but though I hold you in awe,
I believe that I love you too much to fear you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 42; 146; 102; 133
Zeph. 1:14-18
Rev. 14:14-15:8
Luke 13:1-9
Selected Verses
Ps. 146:9
The LORD watches over the strangers;
          he upholds the orphan and the widow,
          but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

Zeph. 1:14a
The great day of the LORD is near,
     near and hastening fast…

Rev. 15:2-3
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.   And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: "Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations!  …" 

Luke 13:6-7
Then [Jesus] told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.  So he said to the gardener, 'See here!  For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none.  Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?'…"  

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