Sermon Series: Revisiting the Ten Commandments

June 11, 18, 25 and July 2, 9, 16 and August 6, 13, 20, 27

From Pastor Sarah:

This summer, starting June 11, I’ll preach a sermon series on the Ten Commandments.  Now your first thought might be ok, boring.  Or, just what I need, more rules. Or, I hope there’s not a quiz because I can’t even name them all.

There won’t be a quiz.  And I’ll do my best to make them relevant, not boring.  And most important, I hope you’ll find that going deeper into the Ten Commandments is a blessing.

God gave the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel as they were wandering through the wilderness trying to figure out how to live together well.

Wandering through the wilderness trying to live together well.  Doesn’t that phrase describe every relationship at some point?  Don’t all people in this life together, from a family to a church to a nation, need help?

The Ten Commandments are God’s gift to help us with the art of right relationships.  They are one of the basic tools that equip us to live well with God and with each other.

There are a few different reasons I’ve chosen to do this now.

The first is that I am reminded, every time we have a baptism, that we promise to teach our children the ten commandments.  Except for a few lessons in Sunday School and Confirmation, we generally treat the ten commandments like an ancient set of rules that belong in a museum.  If they’re important enough to be included in baptismal promises, let’s dust them off and see why.

The second is that the 500th anniversary of the reformation is this year.  As part of that celebration, I’ll pull in Martin Luther’s teaching on the Ten Commandments and remember the simple, brilliant, question he put to our basic sacred texts: What does this mean.  That question changed the world and it can change us too.

Third, I find over and over again that people want their faith to be connected to real life.   The Ten Commandments cover the real stuff.  Adultery.  Jealousy.  Being angry with your parents.  It’s all there.

Martin Luther also said this of the Ten Commandments: “This much is certain: those who know the Ten Commandments perfectly know the entire scripture and in all affairs and circumstances are able to counsel, help, comfort, judge, and make decisions in both spiritual and temporal matters.”*

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