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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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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, Proper 7
Standard Episcopal Lectionary and Revised Common Lectionary
Gospel Lesson

Matthew 10: (16-23) 24-31 (Standard)
Matthew 10: 24-39 (RCL)

{Start Standard Lectionary} Jesus said to the twelve apostles,

["See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.]

{Start RCL} "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

"So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

"Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. {End Standard Lectionary}

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

"For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's foes will be members of one's own household.

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." {End RCL}



Reflection on Matthew 10: (16-23) 24-31
by the Rev Tom Harries

How could one include honor or concern for the natural environment in a sermon for today? Once you bring up the question, you can probably spot the opportunities as well as I.

If you are brave you could start from the notion that a person is of more value than many sparrows. Although deeply ingrained in us and clearly biblical this perspective limits our willingness to care for the earth. Could we, even momentarily, entertain the notion that other life has value equal to our own in God’s eyes?

“But,” you say, “Jesus himself taught us about the sparrows.” It’s true. On the other hand, humanity was no threat to the natural world in Jesus’ day. What might he say today?


Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year A, Proper 7:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Jeremiah 20: 7-13
Genesis 21:8-21 or
Jeremiah 20: 7-13
Psalm 89: 1-4, (5-14), 15-18
Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 or
Psalm 69: 8-11, (12-17), 18-20
New Testament Lesson
Romans 5: 15b-19
Romans 6: 1b-11
Matthew 10: (16-23) 24-33
This Page
Matthew 10: 24-39
This Page


The Rev Tom Harries was priest-in-charge of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, St. Peter, MN; Total Ministry Mentor in Central Minnesota; and Co-chair of MEESC. He originally wrote this reflection in 1999. Tom and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Tom Harries 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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