Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) Lectionary Reflection Ash Wednesday, Old Testament Lesson

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17: Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and full of mercy; he is patient and keeps his promise; he is always ready to forgive and not punish. Perhaps the Lord your God will change his mind and bless you with abundant crops. Then you can offer him grain and wine. (vs 12)

Reflection by Nan Stokes

As Lent begins with the Ash Wednesday lessons, we are reading about a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness as Joel tells of an invasion of locusts and a drought in Palestine. He speaks of these events as a sign of the coming Day of the Lord when those who oppose the Lord's righteous will shall be punished. When the crops fail and the sky turns black, people experience fear and wonder. How easy it is to enjoy goodness and beauty and believe that all is right with the world when the sun shines and the flowers bloom. It is easy, too, to be afraid when the sky turns black and thunder and rains come to threaten that world, In the midst of either circumstance, we repent and thank the Creator for the many blessings of creation in our lives.

To Reflections on other Ash Wednesday Readings:
Old Testament Joel 2:1-2, 12-17
this page
Psalm 103:8-14
New Testament 2 Corinthians 5:20b6:10
Gospel Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Nan Stokes resides in Duluth and is a member of St. Edward's Episcopal Church. She originally wrote this reflection in 1997. She and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to our Webmaster or any other MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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This page last updated 01-03-25.