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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

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Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations



Lectionary Reflection

Year C, Proper 15
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common Lectionary

Gospel Lesson

Luke 12:49-56

Jesus said, "I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided:

father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

He also said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, `It is going to rain'; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

Reflection on Luke 12:49-56
by the Rev Dcn Helen B. Hanten

In this Gospel Reading we hear Jesus say that people will be divided, even family members won't agree as people fail to heed the signs of the times. While prophets didn't do personal fortune telling or see the future, prophets interpreted the signs of the times and foretold what would be ahead if trends continued. Most people today know clouds may bring rain or snow. Where we live in Minnesota, south winds on hot summer days bring storms. Jesus' question about how his followers could fail to interpret the present time can certainly be the question we ask the world as climate continues to change and more species are threatened. While it is true, as some will argue, that the earth has experienced times of fluctuations of temperatures all the way from ice ages to the seas covering much more of the land, the changes now are happening faster than in the past and the acceleration is interpreted to be leading to impending drastic consequences. Everyone has heard about it. Most believe it is happening, but too few are doing anything to change their own lives, or even to advocate for the changes in society that would slow down the global warming.

How is it we can do so well in advancing transportation, communication, medical advances and reproductive technologies, but fail to respond in appropriate ways to the impending drastic change to our planet Earth? Is it too convenient and comfortable to wrap our lives around the transportation, communication and technologies? Is the "Inconvenient Truth" too much to embrace?

Copyright Statement

Reflections on other Readings
[Standard (Episcopal) and Revised Common Lectionary]
for Year C, Proper 15

Revised Common Lectionary

Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary

Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Isaiah 5: 1-7
no reflection available
Jeremiah 23:23-29
no reflection available
Jeremiah 23:23-29
no reflection available
Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-18
Psalm 82
Psalm 82
no reflection available
New Testament Reading:
Hebrews 11: 29–12:2
no reflection available
Hebrews 12:1-7(8-10)11-14
no reflection available
Luke 12:49-56
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Luke 12:49-56
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The Rev Helen B. Hanten, was a deacon emeritus of St. Andrew's By-The-Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 2007.  Helen and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to the Rev Helen B. Hanten or any MEESC member, or mail them 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.


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