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Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

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Creation Season Materials


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations

If you find the information in this reflection to be of interest or concern, please contact MEESC Members.

Members of MEESC reside around the Diocese of Minnesota and are available to assist you and your congregation in their environmental stewardship walk.

Please contact us at any time with your questions.

Creation Season 2009 October 4 October 25, 2009 (Proper 22 through Proper 25, Year B)

Proper 23, Year B (October 11, 2009)

Humans interacting with 'this fragile Earth, our island home'

Homilist's Notes

Welcome! We're glad you're planning on observing a liturgical season of creation. We have prepared some materials for you to use in worship, teaching, and personal reflection.

The Reflections and Notes on the readings for this Sunday are available for you to use. You may

  • copy and paste what you wish from this page directly to your preparation materials or
  • download the materials as part of a reference materials for the individuals involved in preparing religious education, homilies, or special liturgical materials for your Service.

RCL Readings for this Sunday:

Semi-Continuous Track Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading: Job 23: 1-9, 16-17 Amos 5: 6-7,10-15
Psalm Psalm 22: 1-15 Psalm 90:12-17
New Testament Lesson
Hebrews 4: 12-16
Mark 10:17-31
Creation Theme for this Sunday: Humans seek to control the contours of the earth through agriculture and machinery. We touch the world in hard and masterful ways, ripping from it the goods we need.

Sermon Notes

There is a parallel between Marks brief story of the rich young man and the book of Job, written possibly 400 years earlier in a rich lament form of dialogs and narrations. The young man and Job were both invited to suffer. Job was inflicted in the cosmic dialog between the satan and God. The young man was invited by Jesus to give his wealth to the poor in order to gain eternal life.

Job endured suffering which led to a theophany with God and eventual care and understanding for all of Gods creation. The the young man, when faced with Jesus declaration to give away his possessions to the poor, could not take the step although he seemed eager to follow the living God.

Both men were essentially good men, yet neither had really learned total dependence on God nor real compassion for his fellow humans and creatures, nor the land he possessed. Job had lived a righteous life, was rich, had many possessions. The young man had upheld all the commandments and seemed honest and sincere enough for Jesus to accept and even love him. Yet when Jesus explained the requirement, the young man could not make the shift from a good life to an eternal, spiritual life. The young man was unable to trust God and live a life of possible pain and poverty as a dependent on the shifting sands of oppression in the land in the Roman occupation. He could not give up his power to face the possibly of living as a slave.

Job did loose all of his possessions and most of his family. His wife taunted him. He friends misunderstood and gave him bad advice to renounce God. Jobs suffering was also physical with sores and decay. Reaching desperation, Job cursed the day of his birth, but not God. Job retained his relationship with God, Then God spoke to God out fo the power of the whirlwind. God confronted Job with all the care and extent of Creation. The words are almost a preamble to Eucharistic Prayer C in The Book of Common Prayer.

Jobs sense of compassion for all of Gods Creation changed dramatically after his encounter with God. Perhaps the Rich young man knew nothing of Job. Certainly the request to give all to the poor was not new to Jesus teachings.

St. Francis seemed to be aware of the scriptural imperative of giving away ones possessions. Of course he had the gospels to read. He knew how possessions and power of position kept one from being in right relationship with God and all of Gods Creation.

We Americans consume and alter Creation through the use and manipulation of land and resources more than any nation on the planet. We may think we are like Job and righteous in many ways while being good stewards of our land and its resources. However, like the rich young man, we own and use vast amounts of carbon in maintaining our rich life styles. We Americans have more cars than people now in our nation. Think of the land we have altered or destroyed in order to posses the vehicles. Do autos improve our compassion for the Creation? Do they improve our eternal life?

Canticle of the North Shore (Song of Praise). This may be used for every Sunday of this celebration of Creation.
If you will be following the Semi-Continuous Track readings [focusing on the Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) readings], please read first this reflection on Job.

PDF Version of these notes: click here

To other Materials for Sundays in this series
Proper 24
October 4
October 11
October 18
October 25
This Page

Note: The Reflections and Notes for this Sunday were prepared by the Rev Margaret W. Thomas.

The Rev Margaret W. Thomas, was a retired priest who resided in Duluth, MN, when she originally prepared these materials. Margaret and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Margaret W. Thomas or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC 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.

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