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.

Do Not Put Your Trust in Mortals--July 4, 2017


We all serve someone or something, O God.
Sometimes the service is forced upon us;
sometimes we have been bedazzled;
or we cling to what we want to believe
about the one we want to continue serving.
We trust in you, and you we serve, Lord God.

Lectionary Readings
Ps. 54; 146; 28; 99
1 Sam. 11:1-15
Acts 8:1b-13
Luke 22:63-71

Selected Verses
Ps. 146:3
Do not put your trust in princes,
          in mortals, in whom there is no help.

1 Sam. 11:1
About a month later, Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” 

Acts 8:9
Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. 

Luke 22:66-68
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought [Jesus] to their council.  They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us." He replied, "If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer.  …"

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