Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) Lectionary Reflection Year B, Seventh Epiphany, Old Testament

Isaiah 43:18-25:

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel! You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, or wearied you with frankincense. You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

Reflection on Isaiah 43:18-25 by the Rev Wanda Copeland

By this time of the later winter, we can finally notice significant lengthening of days. While there are intermittent times of persistent cold in the northern hemisphere, we can begin to notice a relaxing of the icy grip of winter. The sun is regaining its strength and height in the sky. The slow journey toward rebirth of trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs has begun. God says in Isaiah, "I am about to do a new thing." Remember spring with all its glory of colors and shades. Smell the scent of the earth as it begins to thaw. Hibernating animals are coming forth. Those who have gone to the deep woods are starting to come out. Those of us humans who have hunkered down inside for these last weeks and months are also starting to poke our heads out. What is this "new thing" God is beginning. Will it be a Silent Spring or one filled with the sounds of life? How will we greet our friends and neighbors the whales, the osprey, and the rhinos? Each new day that dawns is a chance to start over. What will we do differently in this fresh new world?

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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