Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Lectionary Reflection Year C, Last Epiphany Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson

Exodus 34:29-35 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

Reflection on Exodus 34:29-35 by the Rev Wanda Copeland

This lesson from Exodus is the culmination of a longer passage describing Moses' visit with God on Mt. Sinai. The writer tells us Moses' face 'shone' after their meeting (v. 29) and after subsequent meetings (v. 34-35). this Sunday we are to call to mind the power and majesty of our God and how we may be transfigured as a result of such a close encounter with our God.

From the greatest of our religious ancestors to the lowliest of servants, God can and does touch us all. As we close this season of Epiphany, may we be reminded that this season manifests our awareness that God shows God's self to all people not just chosen ones. Look deeper into this passage in Exodus. God's commandments do not just pertain to the human family, but include provisions for animals as well. God reminded Moses that all life belongs to the Mighty One, and that all life appropriately pays homage to God.

God radiates out to include all creation, exists within all creation and challenges us to open our eyes to recognize how we may be more inclusive and receptive to the world in which we live, move, and have our being.

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Exodus 34:29-35
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Psalm 99
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New Testament 1 Corinthians 12:27 13:13
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Gospel Luke 5:1-11
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The Rev Wanda Copeland, Co-Chair of the Environmental Stewardship Commission (1997-2001) and Chair of the Episcopal Ecological Network (since 2001) is the Rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Elk River, MN. She originally wrote this reflection in 2001. Wanda and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Wanda 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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