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.

God of Great Surprises--Feb. 1, 2017


We thank you,
God of all the earth,
for ways you startle us--
you call us to sing a new song,
you restore our sight to see clearly,
you give us good news to contemplate,
 and in our Servant Lord you show us
how blessed it is to be set free--
free to be your servants.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 96; 147:7-11; 132; 134
Isa. 52:13-53:12
Gal. 4:21-31
Mark 8:11-26

Selected Verses
Ps. 96:1
O sing to the LORD a new song;
          sing to the LORD, all the earth. 

Isa. 52:15
…so [God's servant] shall startle many nations;
          kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
          and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Gal. 4:25-26
Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother.

Mark 8:25
Then Jesus laid his hands on [the blind man's] eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

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