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.

When All Will Wail in Dismay--Dec. 11, 2016

God, my mind cannot grasp the nature of a time
when you will destroy the earth, when all hands
will be feeble, and every human heart will melt,
a time when you will shake the earth, and all
will wail in their dismay.

Neither can I imagine how you, whom I know
as a God of love and compassion, would ever
will such a thing.

I do believe that the earth is yours, with all that
is in it, the world and all those who live in it.
And I know how we have abused and damaged
this world that you love--air, water, and soils,
and all life that you created.

I know that even the Judean countryside where
Jesus and John with disciples went to baptize,
because the water there was abundant, fits that
description no longer.

I fear that on our present course, the time will
come--not because you will it, but because
we ignore your will--when our global climate
will have changed to the point that all life
will be feeble, every human heart will melt,
and all will wail in dismay.

O God, forgive our lack of respect for all
we have received from you, and help us
mend our ways.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 24; 150; 25; 110
Isa. 13:1-13
Heb. 12:18-29
John 3:22-30
Selected Verses
Ps. 24:1-2
The earth is the LORD's and all that is in it,
     the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas,
     and established it on the rivers.

Isa. 13:6-8a
Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
     it will come like destruction from the Almighty!
Therefore all hands will be feeble,
     and every human heart will melt,
     and they will be dismayed. 

Heb. 12:26
At that time [Moses at Mt. Sinai] [God's] voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven."

John 3:22-23
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized.  John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized…

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