RSS

Tag Archives: Jesus

The Ten Commandments

Moses convened all Israel, and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances that I am addressing to you today; you shall learn them and observe them diligently. 2The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3Not with our ancestors did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. 4The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the fire. 5(At that time I was standing between the Lord and you to declare to you the words of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said: 6I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 7you shall have no other gods before me. 8You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me,10but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. 11You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. 12Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. 15Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day. 16Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.17You shall not murder. 18Neither shall you commit adultery. 19Neither shall you steal. 20Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor. 21Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Deuteronomy 5:1-21, NRSV)

As we started our trek into the 10 Commandments the other night at confirmation at St. John’s we read this passage and the passage from Exodus 20 of the 10 Commandments. I had those present count as the reading was done how many commandments they thought they heard. No one said 10, I got 13, 14, 12, all sorts of numbers, but everyone had more than 10. So why are there 10 Commandments and which ones are they? Also, did you know there are at least 3 different ways to number the 10 Commandments? Take a look at this chart from SundaySoftware.com which does a nice job of illustrating the different approaches to numbering the 10 Commandments.

So how do we know what we are supposed to do actually?

Well, in my opinion, these commandments were given to help us live in relationships. They are to help our relationship with God (1-3 or 4) and our relationships with others (4-10 or 5-10).

They help us know how to interact with God and with others. So don’t worry about the numbers, just love God and love everyone else and live that mercy and grace God gave you into the world.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Salvation at Sea

19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night. 21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 30Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. (Exodus 14:19-31, NRSV)

Did this happen as it says here?

I have had many conversations with people who find it hard to believe the things we read in the Bible because I have never seen that. the water parting and the Israelites walking on dry land and then the waters coming back over the Egyptians. Or how about Jonah in the belly of the giant fish. I mean that is a little hard to swallow… We have never seen it, but does that mean it didn’t happen?

People wonder about the things in the Bible and if they are true. Well, I can say that I believe in the wind. I have never seen the wind, but I have seen the effects of the wind. I know the wind is real because I can feel it. And that my friends is how I have faith in the promises and the stories of the Bible, and moreover I have faith and trust in my savior Jesus Christ.

Believe it because God did it. And God will give you an abundance of life.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Pharaoh Finally Relents

29At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.30Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians; and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. 31Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord, as you said. 32Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!” (Exodus 12:29-32, NRSV)

When the tragedy finally became real to Pharaoh he relented…

What does it take for us to know that a struggle is real for others? We can see what they are dealing with and empathize but sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we have to experience it first hand, in a way that is real to us.

How has God worked in a real way in your life that you can share with others?

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Scheming Son and Mother

When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” 2He said, “See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. 4Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.” 5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father say to your brother Esau, 7‘Bring me game, and prepare for me savory food to eat, that I may bless you before the Lord before I die.’ 8Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. 9Go to the flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savory food for your father, such as he likes; 10and you shall take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin.12Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him, and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.” 13His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me.” 14So he went and got them and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared savory food, such as his father loved.15Then Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob;16and she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17Then she handed the savory food, and the bread that she had prepared, to her son Jacob. (Genesis 27:1-17, NRSV)

Why did Rebekah and Jacob steal the blessing Esau was to be given by Isaac? To me, this story has always seemed odd to have in the story of the forefathers of our religion.

So why is it here? Well if you follow through the story of Jacob, he starts all kind of trouble and eventually gets renamed to Israel. Israel goes through a lot of troubling times. But through it all God is with him.

Even when he and his mother trick his father. And when he has to be reunited with his brother that he bought his birthright from and stole his blessing.

This story I believe is here to show us that even at our worst, God is still walking with us. Wondering why we are doing these things, but always with us.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The First Sin

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’“ 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. 8They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”10He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” 14The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 17And to the man he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:1-21, NRSV)

Why were Adam and Eve removed from the garden?

Was it because they sinned?

Or was it another reason. You see when God created Adam and Eve God created them in the image of God. So they are like God in every way. Except…

What tree did God tell them not to eat from in the creation story from yesterday and how many special trees were there?

There were 2 special trees and God said not to eat from one of them, which one. The tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. But what was the other tree?

That is in the verses just after our reading,

22Then the LORD God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.

The other tree was the Tree of Life which gives eternal life and God didn’t say to eat from that tree, but since Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they had to be removed from the garden so they would not become exactly like God. We were removed from the garden so we couldn’t be like God, not because of sin. we could have lived in the garden forever if we hadn’t known good and evil, which is better?

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Preaching the Gospel

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. 13I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory. (Ephesians 3:1-13, NRSV)

Paul thought he was the chief of sinners and the least saint in the church. He thought he had done too much wrong to be in the light of Christ, yet Paul was the most prolific speaker of the gospel in his time. He helped gather congregations all over the known world and helped people hear the great news of how much God loved them. Because God could love Paul, God could love anyone.

And God will use all of us to tell the world about God’s love. God will speak through each of our lives to tell of the wonderful love that Christ brought for all of us.

Allow God to speak through your life and let God’s light shine so the darkness ios expelled and God’s love is made known.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Christ is our Peace

11So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” —a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. (Ephesians 2:11-22, NRSV)

God made a way for all of us to be included, not just those who are the chosen people by birth, but all of us. We who were once without hope, now have hope.

God made a way for all of us to obtain salvation and to be a part of the covenant.

So know no one is too far gone for God to reach down and pick them up and make them a part of the promise. You have never gone too far for God to reach you.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,