Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission
(MEESC)
Lectionary Reflection
Year A, Proper 9, New Testament

Romans 7:21-8:6:
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Reflection on Romans 7: 21 8:6:
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.

Paul does the flesh and our physical selves a great disservice here. You might consider correcting it. Matthew Fox and his creation spirituality offer a quite different perspective. In any case this dichotomy of flesh and spirit is more Greek than Hebrew.
 



The Rev Tom Harries is the Rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Elk River, MN.  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:

<MEESC
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

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