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 Blast of the Ruthless--April 22, 2017

[From April 18, 2009 archive]

We have experienced the blast of the ruthless,
the alien noise, and the anguish of pain;

but we also have known the joy of relief
as we lie down and you restore our souls.

You shade us from the heat and replace
noisy clamor with the quiet of still waters.

Even the bellow of the song of the ruthless
must not prevent us from telling of your mercy.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 92; 149; 23; 114
Isa. 25:1-9
Acts 4:13-31
John 16:16-33
Selected Verses
Ps. 23:2-3a
            He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
            he restores my soul.

Isa. 25:4b-5
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,
            the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
            the song of the ruthless was stilled.

Acts 4:17
“…But to keep [the news of the healing by Peter and John] from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”  [The high priest and members of his council, to one another]

John 16:21
“…When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come.  But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.      [Jesus to his eleven disciples, at table with them]

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