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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Coat of Arms of Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota
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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
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

Isaiah 9: 1-4 (RCL)

There will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness--
on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.


Reflection on Isaiah 9: 1-2
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
Isaiah 9:1-4
(this page)
Psalm 139:1-17 or 139:1-11
Psalm 27: 1, 5-13
New Testament Lesson


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.


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