Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 7, Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

Job 38:1-11,16-18
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:

"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements-- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

"Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb? -- when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, `Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped'? "Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this."

Reflection on Job 38:1-11,16-18 by the Rev. Tom Harries

Although this takes off on a tangent from the original intent, one could read this as a warning against too lightly messing around with the foundations of a creation we still understand only imperfectly. "Where were you when I created the world?" We weren't here.

The need to proceed very cautiously with genetic engineering

A few cautionary tales one could check out in more detail: The shortage of bumblebees for pollination due to pesticide use. The sterility of soil treated year after year with nitrogen.

Copyright Statement

Tom Harries is Rector of St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church, Richfield, MN. He originally wrote this reflection in 2000. Tom and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Tom Harries or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 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 If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence.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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