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Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

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

Year A, Epiphany 1 Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Revised Common Lectionary Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading

Isaiah 42: 1-9 (Standard Lectionary and Revised Common Lectionary)

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

Reflection on Isaiah 42: 1-9 by the Rev Wanda Copeland

We often read backward into this lesson words about Jesus. Certainly, the words were written about someone who would save God's people, who would live the righteous life, who would establish justice. We understand that person to be Jesus. Even if the writer of Second Isaiah did not know that it would be Jesus who would fulfill these qualifications, clearly the one who was to come would embody what he understood to be quintessential qualities of God. We believe Jesus to be the one who has made all things new, who breathes life into the people again. We believe he has given new meaning to all life. We believe that he has "reinvented" the world and the way it is to interrelate.

Is it any wonder that we see Jesus calling us to carry out justice to all of creation? If God's justice is complete and transformative, is it not transformative for all of the creation? Does not God call us to examine how we are consuming resources, the extent to which we create greenhouse gasses, the reasons we allow entire ecosystems to be destroyed? God's light shines out in the darkness and puts a spotlight on how we live. Are we truly agents of transformation and justice? What in this new year can we do better?

Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year A, Epiphany 1:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Isaiah 42: 1-9 (this page)
Isaiah 42: 1-9 (this page)
Psalm 89:1-29 or 89:20-29
New Testament Lesson
Acts 10:34-38
Acts 10:34-43
Matthew 3:13-17
Matthew 3:13-17

The Rev Wanda Copeland was rector of Holy Trinity Church, Elk River, MN, and Co-chair of the Environmental Stewardship Commission, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1999. Wanda and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Wanda Copeland or any MEESC member, or mail them:

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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