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.

To Plant a Mustard Seed--May 21, 2017

[From May 10, 2015 archive]

Lord God,

You have remembered us in our low estate,
for your steadfast love endures forever,
and everything you created is good.
Teach us to receive with thanksgiving,
and--to those in need--give with open hand.

From small beginnings like these
your kingdom grows
and grows.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 93; 150; 136; 117
Deut. 15:1-11
1 Tim. 3:14-4:5
Matt. 13:24-34a

Selected Verses
Ps. 136:23
It is [the LORD] who remembered us in our low estate,
          for his steadfast love endures forever…

Deut. 15:7-8
If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.  You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.

1 Tim. 4:4-5
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

Matt. 13:31-32
[Jesus] put before [the crowds] another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

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