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Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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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

Year A, Advent 2 Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Revised Common Lectionary Gospel

Matthew 3: 1-12 (Standard and RCL)

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Now John wore clothing of camels hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our ancestor; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

I baptize you with* water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Reflection on Matthew 3: 1-12 by the Rev. Dcn Helen Hanten

What other voices cry from the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord"? How do we announce God's presence in other holy places where God's nearness is felt profoundly and God speaks to us clearly?

Who cries for the wilderness in the wilderness? Protection of the creation is not just good stewardship of resources. The creation is God's gift, wonderfully made. Wildness is becoming rare and all the more to be treasured. Wildness is found where we have allowed the land to be as God created it. Let our voices be heard in defense of that wilderness.

Printable version

To Reflections on other RCL Readings for Year A, Advent 2:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Isaiah 11:1-10
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
New Testament Lesson
Romans 15:4-13
Romans 15:4-13
Gospel (this page)
Matthew 3: 1-12
Matthew 3: 1-12

The Rev Helen Hanten was a deacon at and an active member of St. Andrew's by the Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1998. Helen and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to The Rev Helen Hanten or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC 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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