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.

Ithaca Muslims Respond to Presbyterian Outreach--Nov. 21, 2016


After reports of national violence against Muslims this past week, our pastor--on behalf of our PCUSA congregation--left a rose and a message of support at Ithaca's Islamic Community Outreach Service (Moosalla Noor). Although there is no reason to suppose our pastor (Rev. Kirianne Weaver Riehl) was thinking of today's lectionary at the time, her action was consistent with verses from it that I have selected below, and with the meditation I have assembled based on them. Here is the gracious Muslim response to our pastor's action:  

To our good neighbors and friends by God's grace,
            Please forgive the less personal format of this response to the beautiful flower and heartfelt message that was left at the door of our Moosalla. We wish for you to know that it has been received with much appreciation, and hope that our thanks can be extended to all from your congregation who came together in such a generous outreach.
            We stand with all in the Ithaca community and beyond who resist the calls to succumb to the fear and hatred that has become so much a part of public discourse of late, and as we have been commonly guided by the scriptures of our Faiths, to respond to evil with something better.
            Thank you again to all at the First Presbyterian for your gesture of kindness and solidarity, and blessings for exemplifying a good way forward.
       Your friends at Islamic Community Outreach Services and the Ithaca Muslim community

Strong to Walk in Your Name

God, make us strong to walk in your name,
yet open to receive your kingdom as a little child.
Remind us--the needy shall not always be forgotten--
and help us bear one another's burdens, fulfilling your law.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 62; 145; 73; 9
Zech. 10:1-12
Gal. 6:1-10
Luke 18:15-30
           
Selected Verses
Ps. 9:18
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
          nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

Zech. 10:12
I will make them strong in the LORD,
     and they shall walk in his name,
                                                  says the LORD.

Gal. 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 

Luke 18:17
"…Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."  [Jesus to his disciples]

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