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.

Strength to Turn Back--March 17, 2017

O God, we seek you and your strength;
we seek your presence continually.

When we make our faces harder than rock,
and our hearts are as hard as our faces,
then help us remember what matters.
Praise from other people does not;
only praise from you is important.
Give us the strength to turn back,
to soften our hearts and our faces.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 22; 148; 105; 130
Jer. 5:1-9
Rom. 2:25-3:18
John 5:30-47

Selected Verses
Ps. 105:4
Seek the LORD and his strength;
          seek his presence continually. 

Jer. 5:3c
 They have made their faces harder than rock;
          they have refused to turn back.

Rom. 2:29
Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart--it is spiritual and not literal.  Such a person receives praise not from others but from God.

John 5:44
How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 

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