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.

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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 4
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

2 Chronicles 36: 14-23

All the leading priests and the people also were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of the Lord that he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling-place; but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord against his people became so great that there was no remedy.

Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their youths with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or young woman, the aged or the feeble; he gave them all into his hand. All the vessels of the house of God, large and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his officials, all these he brought to Babylon. They burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious vessels. He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfil seventy years.


Reflection on Genesis 9:8-17
by Nan Stokes

He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him
(vs 20)

Those of us who live in the United States have never been overrun or subject to the rule of a conqueror, so these words in Chronicles are sobering and frightening!   To be defeated in battle and have friends and loved ones killed on the battlefield and not return from the fighting must be a horrible experience for those who survived.  But then to be taken as a slave to a strange land would be even more frightening! The First Reading on this day tells that all the leading priests and the people were exceedingly unfaithful, and yet God was persistent because he had compassion on those people. But God's messengers, the prophets, were mocked and despised and scoffed at until there was no remedy for the Lord's wrath, and the people of Israel were conquered and enslaved. The faith of those Hebrew people sustained them during those long years of captivity, and they kept the sabbath and stayed true to their teachings. What joy there must have been when King Cyrus of Persia said, "Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him!  Let him go up!" And they returned to their homeland to rebuild the temple.

This is the mid-point of Lent a time to reflect on past days and renew our resolve to observe a discipline in the days ahead. Remember that our faith can sustain us in those long days, and give us renewal and hope in our struggle to become better Christians in the short run and the long run the race that is set before us.


Printable version


To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Lent 4

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
2 Chronicles 36: 14-23
(this page)
Numbers 21: 4-9
Psalm 122
Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22
New Testament Reading

John 6: 4-15

John 3: 14-21


Nan Stokes (1929-2010), a former co-chair of MEESC (2002-2006), 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.


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