Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lent 3

Today's readings were Exodus 20:1-17 (sermon text), 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, and John 2:13-22.

Family portraits don't match real life - family life isn't perfect. We see the same tension in the text: God's standards for us versus our inability to fulfill them. The Commandments, however, are never presented as a way of salvation. Only Christ is.

Commandment 1 is first because there has always been unending temptation to stray from the one true God, whether by worshiping Isis or Asherah, or by worshiping the gods of ourselves. God is a jealous God. He shows favor to those who love him (N.B. this is listed first) and keep His commandments. Commandment 2 - why is our God's Name the only one misused? Commandment 3: keep the Sabbath = work as unto the Lord. Luther's explanation turns it into a means of grace - be eager to receive preaching and the Word.

Commandment 4 - the first with a promise. Follow God's intended order of authority. The fifth and following Commandments prohibit sins against our neighbor. No comments accompany them in the text, for they flow naturally from the first four. We sin against the entire family of God when we break any Commandment. So how can we keep them? Perhaps that's not what we should be asking. Look to Christ; ask for forgiveness; receive it gladly, for God's Law is good and wise. Christ died for you; you are now free from sin to serve God with your whole heart.

Today and next week I am at my home church.

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