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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

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Lectionary Reflection

Year C, Advent 1 General Reflection on the Readings Episcopal Standard Lectionary and Revised Common Lectionary


Episcopal Standard Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture):
Zechariah 14:4-9 Jeremiah 33:14-16
50 25:1-9
New Testament:
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-31 Luke 21:25-36

Reflection on First Sunday of Advent: Watch, Wait and Prepare by the Rev. Margaret W. Thomas

Gazing and Watching the skies in 2003 has been exciting - celestial, lunar and solar sights to ponder. We gazed into the East across Gitchee Gumee (Lake Superior) at Mars. As it hung in apogee over Wisconsin, it cast paths of reflected light, sometimes it nudged near the moon. Our perspective brought them in rare convergence for our time and earthly place in the cosmos. Now, in fall astronomers report solar flares, a caution to electronic navigation. Must we resort to vision and dead reckoning to see and know where we are?

What do we see and hear in the life of humans on the globe? There are prayers during Rhamadan, Hanukkah, meditations from the many mountains and Advent prepares for Christ’s Mass. Do we hear them or only some? The Ojibway told stories in the darkening days of the north. The lodges of old are were bark, with couches of cedar and fur. All the earth’s tribes in the northern hemisphere focused on the shortening days. Gathering together to sustain each other with light and warmth, humans semi hibernated and cared for each other. Jesus’ words sustain and promise us a new realm. He promises a unity from his ultimate gift of love and care for all of us.

How do we view the globe’s people in pain? African wars, drought, and illness sadden, but seem so far away. American mining and manufacturing wanes or is eclipsed as Minnesota Iron is to be trained to the west coast and shipped to China, for manufacturing and shipping back for auto parts.

Private Lynch cannot remember whether she was raped or not. Two helicopters collide. There is still no water in many places in Iraq. In Afghanistan some women can now go about freely, attend school and work.

Young Chinese women workers suffer the burns and again of carpel tunnel as they mold plastics into flowers and Christmas lights and toys (many are guns) for global markets. Wall Mart is to build 200 stores in China we hear. Is the stuff needed by anyone, really? No unions or environmental restrictions protect the workers or the regions were they work.

The “Holy Land” is holy to many, yet many now flee or live faint from fear and foreboding. Another car bomb explodes. Newspapers feature smiling Palestinian school girls returning to school. Where do we see the truth? Remember the siege of the church of the Nativity last spring?

Fires rage and floods return where people refuse to let the earth alone to protect itself in our seeking of private beauty and vista.

Alaskan Athabaskan Indians are given another reprieve in their yearning to stave off oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. There will be many young birds and animals born there this spring. Bishop Mark MacDonald and many others continue to work to preserve a sustainable way of life and the abundance of many species. John Cobb Jr. speaks at a local gathering of concerned Christians and others, to plea for an awareness of connectedness and mutual concern in Christ’s name. He encourages folks to combine and create new ways to sustain for the future together.

Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause: for God himself is judge” Psalm 50: v 6 (NRSV)

Copyright Statement

The Rev. Margaret W. Thomas was the Rector of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she wrote this reflection in 2003. 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.

This page last updated 2006-12-20.

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