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.

Utterly Astonishing--April 20, 2017

[From April 28, 2011 archive]

Lord Jesus, you are our salvation; and you would daily bear us up;
but too often we feel cut off from you, too quickly lose hope.

Open the graves we have dug ourselves into, revive us;
then send us out to bear fruit, fruit that will last.

It is utterly astonishing what can happen
when your Spirit fills our dry bones.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 47; 147:12-20; 68; 113
Ezek. 37:1-14
Acts 3:11-26
John 15:12-27

Selected Verses
Ps. 68:19
Blessed be the Lord,
            who daily bears us up;
            God is our salvation.      

Ezek. 37:11-12
Then [the LORD] said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel.  They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’  Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  …”

Acts 3:11
While [the man who had been lame from birth] clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s Portico, utterly astonished.

John 15:16b
“…And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.  …”  [Jesus to his disciples]

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