Minnesota Episcopal
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Annual Special Projects


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, Proper 26
Year A, Epiphany 6

Psalm 119: 1-8

1 Happy are they whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Happy are they who observe his decrees *
and seek him with all their hearts!
3 Who never do any wrong, *
but always walk in his ways.
4 You laid down your commandments, *
that we should fully keep them

5 Oh, that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep your statutes!
6 Then I should not be put to shame, *
when I regard all your commandments.
7 I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, *
when I have learned your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep your statutes; *
do not utterly forsake me.

Reflection on Psalm 119: 1-8
by the Rev Wanda Copeland

When I lived in Evanston, Illinois, early morning walks along Lake Michigan revealed a variety of people-walkers with pets, runners determined to push another mile, the stray commuter or two, and maybe a senior just glad to be able to be out. If I was able to get out really early, I encountered a different crowd. There were some who were on the beach in white robes awaiting the dawn. As the sun arose, they were chanting and gesturing with their whole body. As I met others who were also watching them, we exchanged smiles.

However, I need to be reminded that they are, with their whole body and lives, honoring God. Even if for that moment, they are walking in the way of the LORD as they understand God to be. They are expressing their commitment, their joy, their faithfulness to God in their early-morning ritual.

As the youth of the 60s used to say, "Talk is cheap." It is easy to proclaim that we are committed to environmental change, but it is more challenging to live that out in our lives. To proclaim with our lives, our bodies and all our actions, that we are committed to being change agents for protection of the earth can be quite confrontational.

Steps toward that movement in our lives begin with the gritty courage to step outside of the march of the majority way of being and doing. We totter like babies in their first steps. We flop around, and as often step backward as forward. Then we more confidently make occasional public professions-like attending a rally in support of wilderness. In this stage, we seldom march alone, feeling more confident in small groups (like teenage boys or girls at a dance). As we mature in our witness, we next get to the stage where we actually raise our hand and take responsibility for one action. As a student confident to venture an answer of which we are unsure, we gingerly proffer our reputation and ego to the whims of others. In that giving of ourselves, we risk much; but our reward is great. We gain the confidence that we can step into a much larger arena the next time. Finally, we are like the Druids on the beach, following the calling of our hearts, and oblivious to the stares and knowing smiles of stranger.

I would argue that is when we are truly "walking in his ways". We have abandoned our fears, we have moved beyond our own hesitation, and fully embraced our need to do what we see as following God's call. That is a joy that the world cannot bring.

"And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives…" (BCP, p. 125)


Printable version


To Reflections on other Readings for Year A, Epiphany 6:

Reflections available at the active links
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Deuteronomy 30: 15-25 or
Sirach 15: 15-20
Psalm 119: 1-8
this page
New Testament Reading:
1 Corinthians 3: 1-9
Matthew 5: 21-37

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Proper 26:

Reflections available at the active links
Semi-Continuous Track
Gospel Track
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Ruth 1: 1-18
Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Psalm 119: 1-8
this page
New Testament Reading:
Hebrews 9: 11-24
Mark 12: 28-34

The Rev Wanda Copeland was co-chair of the Episcopal Ecological Network and a priest in the Diocese of Minnesota when she originally wrote this reflection in 2006. Wanda and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to the Rev Wanda Copeland or any member of the MEESC or our Webverger or send a letter 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.


This page last updated 2011-11-28.

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