Minnesota Episcopal
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

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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, Lent
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
Reflection on All Readings

The Covenant/Creation Connection

Reflection on the readings for Year B, Lent 1 through 5
by John G. Gibbs, PhD

The creation/covenant connection appears on all five Sundays of Lent.

The crisis that humanity inflicts on itself and the world does not have the last word. God does. The covenant that God makes with the earth (Gen. 9:8-17) repels chaos, preserves the face of God in us the "imagers," and establishes the Creator's sustaining care at and as the heart of the universe.

Human community and all creation together strain expectantly toward their common fate, in a process and an outcome never separated from "the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:31ff.). There will be new birth. Labor pains this time are not in vain.

The God who "from heaven" spoke 10 memorable promises requires that we make "only an altar of earth," and use un-chiseled natural stones (Ex. 20:22-24). Those 10 promises portray the release God brings in perennial exodus, in deliverance from slavery to other gods. The "steadfast love of God" urges from Mt. Sinai: "Do not be afraid"; from shepherds' fields: "Do not be afraid"; and from Jesus, despite his being encircled by men lying in wait to catch him: "Do not be afraid." (Ex. 20:6,20; Luke 2:10 and 12:32). "All these words" (Gen. 20:1), misnamed as commandments, are promises that tell how it will be in our relationships with God, neighbors, creatures. We can choose hope, not fear.

Such promises are rooted in "a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. …For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life." (Ephesians 1:10; 2:4-10) Notice: "created for good works," not for destructive "dominion" against Creator, against creation, against "image" of the Creator.

"One heart and one way" are gifts of "the new covenant" God makes. It is the unbroken covenant not only with God's People but also with day and night! Indeed, the God-given reliability ("fixed order") of sun, moon, and stars, also of day and night, assure us that God's covenant can be counted on to endure. (Jeremiah 31:31-35; 32:38-41; 33:19-22)

God would rather die than not be God for us. Global warming, sexual orientation, eco-justice, a shrinking church amending her constitution - we approach all such matters with hope in the God who makes "everlasting covenant."


Printable version

To Specific Sunday Readings

Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary


John Gibbs, PhD, is a retired theologian, who resided in Park Rapids, MN, when he originally wrote this reflection in 2009. John and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

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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