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 Our Soul Is Downcast--Feb. 28, 2017

O God, our help and our hope,
When our soul is downcast,
and disquieted within us,
remind us how your mighty  
hand liberated us from bondage.

And if we suffer more than we can bear,
remind us that the pioneer of our salvation—
whose sandal even John was not worthy to untie—
suffered, and was made perfect, and brings us to glory.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 42; 146; 102; 133
Deut. 6:16-25
Heb. 2:1-10
John 1:19-28

Selected Verses
Ps. 42:11
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
          and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
          my help and my God.

Deut. 6:21
…then you shall say to your children, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.   

Heb. 2:10
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

John 1:26-27
[John the Baptist] answered [the priests and Levites], "I baptize with water.  Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal."

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