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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Church in Minnesota

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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 C, Proper 25
Episcopal Standard Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
New Testament Reading


2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18:

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.



Reflections on 2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18
by John G. Gibbs, PhD

It's not over until it's over. At the Battle of Thermopylae the Greek soldier Dienekes was told that the Persian invaders' arrows were so numerous as to block out the sun. His retort: "So much the better. Then we shall fight in the shade." Though Persians won that battle in 480 BCE, the Greeks have prevailed in the long run until this day nearly 2,500 years later. [Herodotus, Book 7, Chapter 226]

The struggle to care for earth proceeds now underneath a dark cloud of corporate irresponsibility and legislative logjam. In the long run, nevertheless, the facts of climate change will have their persuasive power. Humanity will either take care of its habitat or endure the destructive boomerang of its ecological folly. Odds are that the instinct of self-preservation wins.

In the meantime we are called to live for the future: mankind's future and the future of our planet. More than that, we are called to think, act, and live "for the greater glory of God" ("ad maiorem gloriam dei, as J S Bach dedicated his Organ Works).

No matter how dark present prospects may be for earth care, we fix in mind one of those quotations that now adorn the new rug in the Oval Office. It comes from Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Living in light of that reality, we can say together at the end of life what the author of 2 Timothy wrote near the end of his life: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

In the meantime we are called to live in the prophetic tradition which is always future-oriented. In this Creation Season 2010 the major text for this day is Joel 2:21-32, which I have discussed elsewhere on this website. [Be sure to include vv. 21-22 in your reading of this text.] Only after the Lord has addressed the creation's needs (2:21-22) does God, as this prophet sees it, speak convincingly to the people (2:23):

"Do not fear, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;

the tree bears its fruit,

the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

O children of Zion, be glad>
and rejoice in the Lord your God…

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God…

Then afterward
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh…"

It's not over until it's over. Jesus is coming! Plant a tree.



Reflections on other Readings
[Standard (Episcopal) and Revised Common Lectionary]
for Year C, Proper 25

Revised Common Lectionary

Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary

Old Testament
(Hebrew Scripture)
Sirach 35:12-17 or
Jeremiah 14: 7-10, 19-22
Psalm 84:1-6
no reflection available
Psalm 84
no reflection available
New Testament
2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18
this page
2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18
this page
Luke 18: 9-14
no reflection available
Luke 18: 9-14
no reflection available


John G. Gibbs, PhD, a retired theologian, resided in Park Rapids, MN, when he originally wrote his reflection in 2010. John and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John G. Gibbs, PhD, 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.


This page last updated 2010-10-14.


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