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 Free Gift: Eternal Life in Christ--March 25, 2017

When we walk about in mourning,
lamenting that you have cast us off,
remind us--you have made us to be
a people, a name, a praise, a glory,
a people who would cling to you
as loincloths cling to the loins,
but we do not listen.

Remind us also, O God,
as we seek our own glory,
that you have given us Jesus,  
who came to glorify not himself,
but you, as you glorified him.

Free us from sin,
and enslave us to you,
for the wages of sin is death,
but your free gift is eternal life
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 43; 149; 31; 143
Jer. 13:1-11
Rom. 6:12-23
John 8:47-59

Selected Verses
Ps. 43:2
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
          why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
          because of the oppression of the enemy?

Jer. 13:11
For as the loincloth clings to one’s loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.  [The LORD to Jeremiah]

Rom. 6:22-23
But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification.  The end is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 8:54
Jesus answered [his critics in the temple], "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, 'He is our God…'"

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