Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

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, Lent 3 Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Revised Common Lectionary Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading

Exodus 20: 1-17

Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work-- you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Reflection on Exodus 20: 1-17 by Nan Stokes

Increasing awareness of Biblical references to creation can suddenly surprise the reader who is looking for those references for the first time. In the Old Testament reading for this third Sunday in Lent, we are reminded again of who made the heaven and earth and the sea and all living beings and why the Sabbath day is consecrated -- because the Lord rested on that day after the creation. Everywhere we find evidence of how important the nature of their surroundings was to those scholars who recorded God's action in their lives. In Psalm 19:8 we respond to: "The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart;" with: "The commandment of the Lord is clear and gives light to the eyes." And in verses 9 and 10: "The judgments of the Lord are sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb." So even as we hear again the Lord's commandments, we are aware of how we are blessed, and how those sweet blessings are part of the creation we look at each day with the light of our eyes.

Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Lent 3

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Exodus 20: 1-17 (this page)
Exodus 20: 1-17 (this page)
New Testament Reading:
1 Corinthians 1: 18-25

John 2:13-22

John 2: 13-22

Nan Stokes (1929-2010) was a co-chair of MEESC (2002-2006). She was an active member of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1997. We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to our WebVerger or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC c/o C. Morello 4451 Lakeside Drive Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

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This page last updated 2012-02-23.

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