Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 12, Gospel

Mark 6:45-52

Immediately after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Reflection on Mark 6:45-52 by the Rev. Tom Harries

It would be interesting to reflect on how our relationship with the environment has changed. Both the Psalm and the Gospel readings reflect the experience of people in biblical times that nature was vastly more powerful than they, out of control, dangerous and frightening. Therefore the ability of God or Jesus to control nature was taken as a sign of their great power.

Although we still experience hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, we find ourselves in a position to greatly affect the life of the natural world. Biblical people could barely imagine the kind of power we now have. The instruction to be good stewards is much more important in our day, when we actually have the power to protect or to destroy large parts of the environment.

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 If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence.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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