Minnesota Episcopal
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Annual Special Projects


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations


Lectionary Reflection

Ash Wednesday, All Years
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary

New Testament Reading

2 Corinthians 5: 20b - 6: 10

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,

"At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you."

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see-- we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.


Reflection on 2 Corinthians 5: 20b - 6:10
by Nan Stokes

Paul entreats us, on behalf of Christ, to be reconciled to God, and not to accept the grace of God in vain. He tells passionately about his own ministry and about the afflictions and hardships he has endured as he carried out that ministry in his travels around the known world when Christianity was in its infancy. And he reminds us that NOW is the acceptable time, and NOW is the day of salvation. This means that we must get on with reconciling ourselves to God, and there is no better time! We know that, but the world keeps getting in the way when we start to focus on the most important task before us. Once again the beginning of Lent reminds us of our mortality, and of how fleeting life is. Now is the time to renew our resolve to remember that God is to be our strength and our salvation, and listen to Paul's exhortation to get on with it! At the conclusion of the reading from 2 Corinthians, we glimpse the benefits of a focused life, as Paul tells what that disciple-ship means: "as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything." What are we waiting for?

Printable version


Reflections on other Readings for Ash Wednesday, All Years:

Reflections available at the active links
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
(this page)

Isaiah 58:1-12
New Testament Reading:
2 Corinthians 5: 20b – 6: 10
(this page)


Nan Stokes (1929-2010) is a past co-chair of MEESC (2002-2006). She resided in Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1998. We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to our WebVerger or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.



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