Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 12, Psalm

Psalm 114
Hallelujah! When Israel came out of Egypt, * the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech,

Judah became God's sanctuary * and Israel his dominion.

The sea beheld it and fled; * Jordan turned and went back.

The mountains skipped like rams, * and the little hills like young sheep.

What ailed you, O sea, that you fled? * O Jordan, that you turned back?

You mountains, that you skipped like rams? * you little hills like young sheep?

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, * at the presence of the God of Jacob,

Who turned the hard rock into a pool of water * and flint-stone into a flowing spring.

Reflection on Psalm 114 by the Rev. Tom Harries

It would be interesting to reflect on how our relationship with the environment has changed. Both the Gospel and Psalm 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 If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence.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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