Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

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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 B, Advent 2 Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Revised Common Lectionary Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading

Mark 1:1-8

[begin both] The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight , John the baptizer appeared* in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camels hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with* water; but he will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit. [end both]

Reflections on Mark 1: 1-8 by the Rev Dcn Helen B Hanten

In verse 2, the Gospel writer here is referring to a passage from Isaiah 40 (1-11), which is the first lesson read today. The writer then goes on to apply this to the appearance of John the Baptizer, who proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and foretells the coming of the Christ.

What other voices cry from the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord"? How do we announce God's presence in other holy places where God's nearness is felt profoundly and where God speaks to us clearly?

It is in the most recent decade that the Christian church has reaffirmed the writing s of the psalmists who declared God's glory in the natural world, and the teachings of the early Coptic and Celtic Christians and those of the native Americans who have held that nature itself is sacred and a manifestation of God's presence. Who cries in the wilderness for the wilderness. Protection of the creation is not just good stewardship of resources it is a spiritual and theological issue.

Printable version

To Reflections on other RCL Readings for Year B, Advent 2:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Isaiah 40:1-11
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85
Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13
New Testament Reading
2 Peter 3:8-15a, 18
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Gospel (this page):
Mark 1: 1-8
Mark 1:1-8

The Rev Dcn Helen Hanten was a deacon at and an active member of St. Andrew's by-the-Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1996. Helen and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to The Rev Dcn Helen Hanten or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC 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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