Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year B, Proper 14, Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

Deuteronomy 8:1-10 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD . Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land-a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

Reflection on Deuteronomy 8:1-10 by the Rev Dcn Helen Hanten

God led the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness teaching them that they were dependent on God alone. Their faith was tested, and rewarded when they had learned to walk in the way of the Lord. They were told of a promised land--a good land where God would lead them, with streams and springs of fresh water, a place where grains would grow, and trees and vines would produce fruit. The rocks of the hills would yield iron and copper. It was God's gift, this promise of a good land. How often we take these gifts for granted! Everything that pollutes the air or water, making it less usable for living beings devalues this gift from the creator. The Israelites were told they would eat their fill and bless the Lord their God for the good land they had been given. How often we eat our fill and neglect to bless the Lord, and neglect to preserve the good land that is God's gift to us!

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament Deuteronomy 8:1-10
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Psalm 34 or 34:1-8
not available
New Testament Ephesians 4:(25-29) 30 -5:2
Gospel John 6:37-51

Rev Dcn Helen Hanten is a deacon emeritus of St. Andrew's by the Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN. She originally wrote this reflection in 2003. Helen and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Rev Dcn Helen Hanten or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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