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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Diocese of 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

Lectionary Reflection

Year C, Epiphany 3 Psalm Revised Common Lectionary

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God, * and the firmament shows his handiwork.

One day tells its tale to another, * and one night imparts knowledge to another.

Although they have no words or language, * and their voices are not heard,

Their sound has gone out into all lands, * and their message to the ends of the world.

In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; * it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber; it rejoices like a champion to run its course.

It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of it again; * nothing is hidden from its burning heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul; * the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent

The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart; * the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean and endures for ever; * the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, * sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.

By them also is your servant enlightened, * and in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can tell how often he offends? * cleanse me from my secret faults.

Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion over me; * then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a great offense.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, * O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

Reflection on Psalm 19 by Jill Peterman

There is something eternal in the night sky. The ancient past and the present moment come together in a stunning starry array. Light from stars light-years away originated millions of years ago. Aurora lights dance in earths magnetic field produced by solar storms from our own sun days ago. It is a dark cold clear night and I am outside, present to this glory.

But how do I see, or interpret this? What knowledge or sense or spirit informs me when I look at the stars? It may be totally different for you. Patterns in the night sky are recognizable by some but not others. Yet, we all look up. Even bright city lights cannot dim the brightest stars. The person there has to look harder, or perhaps leave more to memory.

Seeing is part of what we take in with our senses. It can influence us to look farther, or to shut our eyes. Will the sun come up tomorrow? We certainly hope for and expect this, as "one day tells its tale to another, one night imparts its knowledge to another." (Psalm 19) We live in hope of this gift.

As a child I always looked to the stars and imagined or hoped others were looking too. I even hoped my teenage music idols were looking up too. What did other kids in Australia see? I certainly did not know. Yet I felt a link to others by this looking up. As I stand under the clear, bright moon with brilliant stars and crunchy snow under my feet, I hope I will always be able to see.

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other Readings for Year C, Epiphany 3:

Old Testament Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
no reflection available
Psalm 19
this page
New Testament 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
no reflection available
Gospel Luke 4:14-21
no reflection available

Jill Peterman, was Co-chair of MEESC and an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 2007. Jill and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Jill Peterman 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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