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 – Revised Common Lectionary
Gospel Lesson

Matthew 4: 12-23

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

"Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned."

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-- for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.



Reflection on Matthew 4: 13-16
by the Rev Tom Harries

A sermon celebrating and giving thanks for the sun could grow out of the image of light shining on those who were in darkness, which appears in the Isaiah passage and then is quoted in Matthew. Some ideas to play with:

  • Before the birth of stars the universe was very dark.
  • Before the birth of our sun, there was little light or warmth in this region of space that eventually became our solar system home.
  • In the same way that Jesus enlightens and enlivens our spiritual lives, the Sun lights and powers our physical selves.
  • Of course without light we cannot see.
  • But beyond that, almost all the energy we depend upon to power our bodies and our industry came from the sun and was stored in chemical form by plants and plankton.
  • Enough light falls on the earth each day to provide all our energy needs many times over, had we but more effective ways of converting or utilizing it.
  • I know it's a terrible word play, but one could say we are released from physical darkness and cold the by sun, and from spiritual darkness and suffering by the Son.

One could move to a conversation about the need to limit the drivers of global climate change by talking about the fine balance between absorbing what we actually need and allowing the rest to bounce or radiate back into space.

See also the General Reflection on the readings for this day: The Shalom of Souls and Stars


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
Psalm 27: 1, 5-13
New Testament Lesson
Matthew 4:12-23
(this page)
Matthew 4:12-23
(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, when he originally wrote this reflection in 2007. Tom and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Tom Harries 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 2008-01-18.

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

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