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.

Death Does Not Nullify Your Grace--Jan. 25, 2017

O God Most High, John the baptizer did not labor in vain,
did not spend his strength for nothing and vanity,
or die for nothing--and neither did Jesus.

Though they made you their refuge and dwelling place,
and evil did befall them--scourging, execution--
by no means does this nullify your grace,
for their cause was with you,
as was their reward.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 65; 147:1-11; 125; 91
Isa. 49:1-12
Gal. 2:11-21
Mark 6:13-29

Selected Verses
Ps. 91:9-10
Because you have made the LORD your refuge,
          the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
          no scourge come near your tent.

Isa. 49:4
But I said, “I have labored in vain,
          I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the LORD,
          and my reward with my God.”

Gal. 2:21
I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

Mark 6:16
But when Herod heard of [the miracles performed by Jesus' disciples], he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”


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