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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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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

Christmas [all years]
Year C, Proper 4 [both tracks]
Year A, Proper 24

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;

sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.

Sing to the Lord and bless his Name;*

proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

Declare his glory among the nations*

and his wonders among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;*

he is more to be feared than all gods.

As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;*

but it is the Lord who made the heavens.

Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence!*

oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples;*

ascribe to the Lord honor and power.

Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name;*

bring offerings and come into his courts.

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;*

let the whole earth tremble before him.

[optional in Year A, Proper 24:]

Tell it out among the nations: "The Lord is King!*

he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea thunder and all that is in it;*

let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord when he comes,*

when he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness*

and the peoples with his truth.

Reflection on Psalm 96
by the Rev. Margaret W. Thomas

Luke has Mary’s song echo Hannah’s ancient one of mercy and justice in the face of power and corruption.
How Holy and How Wise.

In the Northern hemisphere Christians celebrate new birth as moved to blend with the ancient mysteries of the Sun’s return.
How Holy and How Wise.

In all new births, Spirit joins in Creation anew, Mothers will attest
How Holy and How Wise.

In each generation souls magnify the Lord.
In each generation spirits rejoice in Blessing.

God infleshed, Incarnate, will meet us in the manger.
Any Solstice/Christmas baby greets its family.

Joining a new generation, a new witness to the way.
All creation is joined to watch, prepare, and ponder.

Winter is the time for story telling, mystery and truth.
Ojibway save the winter for such telling, only.

Weaving connections from season to season,
Weaving relationships now and then.

People and animals, Mary and Elizabeth,
Joseph and Zechariah, Jesus and John.

Light shines, all new,  in the face of an infant.
We, too remember and ponder the promises

“Shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.” (Psalm 80: 1)
How Holy and How Wise

Printable version

To Reflections on other RCL Readings for Christmas I (Primary Service), All Years:

Reflections available at the active links
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Psalm(this page):
Psalm 96
New Testament Reading:
Titus 2: 11-14

The Rev. Margaret W. Thomas was the Rector of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she wrote this reflection in 2003. Margaret and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Margaret W. Thomas 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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