meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.
Year C, Epiphany 6
Revised Common Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture)
- Thus says the LORD:
- Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
- and make mere flesh their strength,
- whose hearts turn away from the LORD.
- They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
- and shall not see when relief comes.
- They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
- in an uninhabited salt land.
- Blessed are those who trust in the LORD,
- whose trust is the LORD.
- They shall be like a tree planted by water,
- sending out its roots by the stream.
- It shall not fear when heat comes,
- and its leaves shall stay green;
- in the year of drought it is not anxious,
- and it does not cease to bear fruit.
- The heart is devious above all else;
- it is perverse
- who can understand it?
- I the LORD test the mind
- and search the heart,
- to give to all according to their ways,
- according to the fruit of their doings.
by the Rev Wanda Copeland
For those who have ever seen the 'desert' or wilderness
east of Jerusalem toward Jericho and the Dead Sea, you know it to
be one of the most forbidding places on earth. Except for a short
period of time in the early spring when moisture gives it a slight
green patina, that desert seems like it could easily be devoid of
life. It is this land that Jeremiah brings to mind: "the parched
places of the wilderness". (v. 6) Anyone who has ever traveled
there knows the danger of putting one's faith in the land to sustain
them. Life is very tenuous, there is no margin for error. It seems
so obvious because the trees know it, the grass knows it, the shrubs
know it. The desert is no place to live. Instead they cling to the
borders of wadis, to the edges of waterholes where infrequent streams
of water come bubbling graciously out of the earth to bring life.
An oasis is just that: a place where" plants
grow and travelers can replenish water supplies". It is also
a place of life for birds, insects, water bugs. It is life-giving
for the desert animals, the fox, the hare and mice. The oasis is
not just a place where humans come to retrieve water, where desert
travelers can find respite. It is a sanctuary where many forms of
life can co-exist and can nurture each other.
All forms of life that come to this haven are totally
dependent on the grace of God to provide life-sustaining 'juice'.
They know they fall on the mercy of God's richness, and they live
in relationship with each other around that core fact. Their ecosystem
is complete because of the fact that 'God provides.' When will we
humans learn that we too are ultimately dependent on God's great
mercy. And God's great mercy is not just found in the redemption
of our souls, but in the partnership with have with our fellow created
partners from God's great store of goodness. We are but one small
part of the wheel of life that is creation. We are not the ones
who are responsible for creating all that is. It is only our humble
good fortune to be part of a spoke in the wheel that keeps it turning.
To Reflections on other RCL and Standard (Episcopal)
Lectionary Readings for Year C, Epiphany 6:
no reflection available
no reflection available
Rev Wanda Copeland was the second chair of MEESC (1997-2001),
Chair (2001-2004) and Co-Chair (since 2006) of the Episcopal
Ecological Network. She resided in Ramsey, MN, when she originally
wrote this reflection in 2007. Wanda and we welcome your
comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections
Rev Wanda Copeland 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 2010-01-20.