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.

The Lions of Famine and War--Feb. 20, 2017

God of Mercy, for too many people
there is a famine in the land.
They lie down among lions
that greedily devour human prey.
They have been afflicted,  
 been unbearably crushed,
and they despair of life itself.
Now may we who have
 been blessed with your
mercies be merciful to them.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 57; 145; 85; 47
Ruth 1:1-14
2 Cor. 1:1-11
Matt. 5:1-12

Selected Verses
Ps. 57:4
 I lie down among lions
          that greedily devour human prey;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
          their tongues sharp swords.

Ruth 1:1
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons.

2 Cor. 1:8
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself.

Matt. 5:5
"…Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.  …" [Jesus, to the crowd on the mountain]

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