Logo of MEESC

Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Coat of Arms of Episcopal Diocese of 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

Year A, Epiphany 3
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Psalm Reading

Psalm 139: 1-11 (Standard Lectionary)

LORD, you have searched me out and known me;*
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O LORD, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me *
and your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night,"

Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.


Reflection on Psalm 139: 1
by the Rev Wanda Copeland

In the middle of the winter months, many people suffer from a light deficiency disorder. Such light deprivation causes them to be depressed, sad, lethargic and occasionally unable to perform even the most basic of tasks. Even when they know they are capable mentally and physically of doing things, this lack of light drags them down. What happened to the person who was bubbly, creative, energetic and active? Where has that person gone? It is as if they have become someone they themselves do not even know. The psalmist reminds us that wherever we are, whatever funk we are in, God knows us. God knows of what we are capable, what are our strengths, and what lies hidden even from our own view. It can be intimidating to consider, but it can also be a great relief.

No matter what stumbling blocks we have before us, the psalmist reminds us God is with us in the midst of them. As we near the end of the millennium, many seek the refuge that the world might indeed end in the next months. All our shortcomings would then be erased and God would rescue us from the messes we have made. For those who don't subscribe to that line of thinking, we need to find another way to deal with the issues in front of us. God, who is at our heart, knows what is inside of us. Even on the darkest days when we cannot see through the environmental crisis that we have created, our God can be our strength. God reminds us that we have it within our capacity to change, to become the kind of stewards that he expects. We cannot flee from God, nor can we flee from ourselves. But with God's grace and help we can creatively work together for alternatives and solutions.

Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year A, Epiphany 3:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Amos 3:1-8
Psalm 139:1-17 or 139:1-11
(this page)
Psalm 27: 1, 5-13
New Testament Lesson


The Rev Wanda Copeland was rector of Holy Trinity Church, Elk River, MN, and Co-chair of MEESC, 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:

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.


This page last updated 2011-01-21.

This page maintained for the MEESC by Logo of IRIS Enterprises.

Please send any corrections to
the MEESC WebVerger or our Web Team