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 3
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
New Testament Reading

Romans 7: 13-25

Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.


Reflection on Romans 7: 13-25
by Nan Stokes

This is the New Testament reading that strikes terror into the heart of the lay reader assigned for that Sunday!  It means each syllable and word have to be correctly spoken, or it comes out all wrong!  But in the calm of Saturday night when the lay reader is sitting in a favorite chair without distraction, suddenly it is possible to relate to what Paul is saying, "I do not understand my own actions."  We've all been there especially during Lent when we are trying so very hard to do extra good, or not do what we know is not good.  So we are captive to the sin that dwells within us, and we certainly need to be rescued.  Modern psychology may have a different theory about what goes on in our minds, but we Christians know that we need to say, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"   And that is what we cling to during Lent and all the other times of our lives.


Printable version


To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Lent 3

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
New Testament Reading:
Romans 7:13-25
(this page)
1 Corinthians 1: 18-25

John 2:13-22

John 2: 13-22


Nan Stokes (1929-2010) was co-chair of MEESC (2001-2006). She was an active member of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 2000. We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to our WebVerger 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.


This page last updated 2012-02-23.

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