Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) Lectionary Reflection Year B, First Epiphany, Gospel

Mark 1:7-11: Preaching in the wilderness, John 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." In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

Reflection on Mark 1:7-11: by the Rev Wanda Copeland

Marks story of Jesus begins not with a genealogy or a birth narrative, but with baptism. Baptism that ritual act signifying death and rebirth. How many times do we enter a body of water whether swimming, snorkeling, diving, or immersed in a tub, and find ourselves becoming one with the water. Perhaps more that any other natural element we are connected to water. Our bodies are approximately 98% water. We can survive only a few days without it. Still we pollute gallons upon gallons of water annually. Water of life, may we be reborn in and through you. May we become attuned to your cry for help.


The Rev Wanda Copeland is a rector of Holy Trinity Church, Elk River, MN, and Co-chair of the Environmental Stewardship Commission. She originally wrote this reflection in 2000. Wanda and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Wanda Copeland or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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