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.

You Suffer with the Suffering--May 9, 2017


Merciful God, I am not sure whether your people suffer
because you inflict pain as motivation to change,
or whether suffering happens as a part of life;
either way, I believe you suffer with us,
and your desire is to relieve our pain.

Thus, your will is for the hungry to be filled,
for the sick and wounded to be healed,
and for the sorrowing to rejoice;
for those who go through fire
and water to be released
into a spacious place,
where Christ can
present us all
to you.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 98; 146; 66; 116
Jer. 30:10-17
Col. 1:15-23
Luke 6:12-26

Selected Verses
Ps. 66:12
…you let people ride over our heads;
          we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

Jer. 30:17a
For I will restore health to you,
          and your wounds I will heal,
                                                            says the LORD…

Col. 1:21-22
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, [Christ] has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him…

Luke 6:21
 "Blessed are you who are hungry now,
          for you will be filled.
"Blessed are you who weep now,
          for you will laugh.  …"

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