Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 2, 2011
 1 Then God gave the people all these instructions: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
 3 “You must not have any other god but me.
 4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
 7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
 8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
 12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
 13 “You must not murder.
 14 “You must not commit adultery.
 15 “You must not steal.
 16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
 17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”

 18 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

 19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

 20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

In our journey through the Old Testament lectionary readings, we have reached Moses and the Ten Commandments.  This past summer our pastor led us through a series on the Ten Commandments.  He did a great job on that.  When you think about it, all of the laws in our country are based on these simple ten laws — Even if your extract the first four which are directed at our relationship with God.  The Pharisees asked Jesus which was the greatest of these commandments.  Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and strength and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (PDP – the Pastor Dale Paraphrase)

Several years ago I was teaching a Sunday night series and we were discussing this love for God and for others.  When you think about it, if we get these two right, everything else will fall right into place.  In the book of James we hear, “True and lasting religion in the eyes of the Father is this; “Take care of the widows and orphans and keep yourself from being polluted by the world.”  Again, if we get these two right, everything else will fall in place.  The Ten Commandments simply expand on these to components.  I encourage you this week to ask God to help through the power of His Holy Spirit to love God with everything you have and to love your neighbor as yourself.

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