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.

Alas, if We Rely on Missiles--Dec. 22, 2016

 God, you are our strength,
our fortress and deliverer,
the rock in whom we take refuge,
our shield, our salvation, our stronghold.

You have brought down the powerful
from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.

Alas for us if we rely on our missiles, if we
trust in our armies because they are strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or consult with you and your will for us.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 18:1-20; 147:12-20; 126; 62
Isa. 31:1-9
Rev. 21:22-22:5
Luke 1:39-56
Selected Verses
Ps. 18:1-2
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
          my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
          my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Isa. 31:1
Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help
          and who rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
          and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
          or consult the LORD! 

Rev. 22:2b
On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Luke 1:52
"…He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
          and lifted up the lowly…"  [Mary to Elizabeth]

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