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Environmental Stewardship Commission

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, Lent 3
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

Exodus 17: 1-7 (Standard and RCL)

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?" So Moses cried out to the Lord, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." The Lord said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"



Reflection on Exodus 17: 1-7
by Nan Stokes

We are almost half-way through the Lenten season, and we are beginning to thirst. Now we think about Jesus going into the desert and being tempted there – a dry and thirsty place. For the Jew in Jesus' time, and for the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness, the desert was an ever-present place where you had to be prepared for survival. Certainly water was important, and we can understand why the people cried out to Moses and asked for water to drink. In the northland, the ground is usually covered with snow during Lent, and it is a stretch to think of a dry and hot place where water in any form is in short supply. But we have all been thirsty at some time in our lives, and know that a drink of cool water is just what is needed. So while we wrestle with our temptations and go through the wilderness of lives that need changing, we long for the water that sustains our physical being, and the living water we need for our spiritual survival.

The Psalm for this third Sunday in Lent bids us "Bow down, bend the knee and kneel before the Lord our Maker." It is time to renew our resolve to repent this Lent.


Printable version

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

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Exodus 17: 1-7
(this page)
Exodus 17: 1-7
(this page)
Psalm 95 or 95: 6-11
New Testament Lesson
Romans 5: 1-11
Romans 5: 1-11
John 4 :5-26 (27-38) 39-42
John 4 :5-42


Nan Stokes was an active member of St. Edward's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1999. Nan and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Nan Stokes 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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