A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin and sermon.

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS

Gathering Song               “Built on a Rock”             red book # 652

GREETING

KYRIE                         red book pg. 147(set 4)               

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

EXODUS 20:1-17

PSALM 19

1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-25

JOHN 2:13-22

SERMON                                     Pastor Chris Halverson

Examining the 10 Commandments

 

 

When is the last time you really examined the 10 commandments? When you let it do its hard work on you? Let it remind you of the true God who we find in Jesus Christ? Let it help you love God and love Neighbor… expanding the thou shall nots and the thou shalls until you are assured they are speaking to you and to your situation.

When was the last time you let the 10 commandments examine you?

 

Prayer

You shall have no other gods before me.

Have I feared, loved, and trusted God above anything else? Have I elevated people, events, obligations, or objects to a place of importance that should be reserved for God alone? Have I served God with all my heart, mind, and soul?

It all stands and falls here—all the shall and shall nots, all our actions, are measured by the simple question, “How are your actions a response to God’s freely given gift of life to you?” How ought the created respond to the creator?

“No other gods” have you reflected upon those things which you have made into idols? Have you asked the question, “What do I fear? What do I respect above all things? When the stuff hits the fan, when I’m pressed between a rock and a hard place, where do I turn?” If the answer to this question is not God… then the answer is an idol to be aware of.

Always cling to the faith that has been given to you—God has freed you to live life unafraid, trusting Him, who loves you deeply.

 

          You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Have I used God’s name to swear, lie, or cheat? Have I used God’s name in a superstitious manner? Have I used my words for prayer, praise, and thanksgiving?

There is a grave danger in simply speaking the name of God—whenever a finite creature speaks of the Infinite—there is again the danger of idolatry, of naming something created as creator.

We might cloak a lie in God’s name. Hide our own sin under a cloud of piety.

Yes, a dangerous thing to speak God’s name, for it might be done wrongly, and used in a way that dishonors God, attributing to God things that are not of God.

To honor God’s name, we ought to call upon God in all times of need, and pray to God, and praise God with our lips and in our lives.

 

          Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

Have I regularly attended worship? Have I been attentive to the proclamation of God’s Word in preaching and teaching? Have I received Holy Communion in faith? Have I sought ways to bring proper rest to the mind, body, and soul that God has given me?

Sabbath, this time of rest, liberation, and holiness.

Sabbath, a time, as I am want to remind you all, a time good… for nothing. A time free from the rest of the week, a time marked off for rest.

Sabbath, a time tied to freedom—part of living into God’s holy time is spending time in acts of kindness and justice.

Sabbath, a time holy in and of itself, dragging us into the reality of God through worship, where we can cherish the promises God has made to us.

Sabbath forces us to face those things that keep us from rest, service, and worship—these things we abandon Sabbath for are all idols, exposed to us by God’s holy time.

 

          Honor your father and mother.

Have I sought to respect, love, and honor my parents? Have I been neglectful or unfairly critical of them? Have I worked to keep open and clear lines of communication with them, and to care for their needs?

It is from our parents and those who raise us that we learn what is dangerous and what is safe. It is from them that we establish, or don’t establish, a sense of love and trust.

We’re little sponges as kids, and those things we sop up become our lifeblood forever—our basic fears, loves, and ability to trust are established in childhood.

Even as we pray that everyone honor authority figures, especially parents, we pray all the more that those in authority honor their awesome duties to all who are entrusted to them.

 

          You shall not kill.

          Have I acted in ways that have brought harm to my neighbor? Have I thought or spoken ill of anyone? Have I hated anyone? Have I assisted my neighbor when possible?

What would you kill for? That would quite clearly be an idol, something for which you would be willing to maim the image of God. Instead of killing, we should spend our days giving life to our neighbor—doing so is a lifelong task.

 

You shall not commit adultery.

Have I been honorable and pure in my thoughts, conduct, and speech as is relates to sexual matters? Have I acted with sexual integrity? Have I participated in the sexual exploitation of another person? Have I honored my spouse with love, respect, and faithfulness?

Marriage is a place where trust is formed, or broken. If we cannot trust our spouse, who can we trust?

Such a break can deform so many of our relationships, even our relationship with God. This is why we ought to honor all those who struggle to love one another and trust one another with their whole life. We ought to support trust and trustworthiness in relationships.

 

 

You shall not steal.

          Have I taken anything that did not belong to me? Have I used dishonest means to contribute to my personal gain? Have I sought ways to help my neighbor improve and protect her livelihood?

Gaining other people’s things through bad means… tipping the scale when weighing a product, price gouging, not giving 100% at work, not paying people enough to live on, buying things that cause the suffering of others…. My God, who can stand when theft is named plainly? How can we protect the integrity of all our neighbor has and to better their livelihood?

 

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

Have I betrayed, slandered, or lied about my neighbor? Have I defended my neighbor against verbal attack? Have I spoken well of my neighbor? Have I attempted to put the best possible construction on my neighbor’s words and actions before jumping to unjustified conclusions?

What if any claim we made had to be defended in the court of law, with the danger of libel and perjury pointed against us? Might the world then be silent?

After all, talking bad about a person is like pushing toothpaste out of the tube, easy enough to do, impossible to undo.

May we train our tongues to talk well of our neighbor, defend them against defamation, and in all things interpret their actions in the best possible light.

 

You shall not covet your neighbors house or household.

          Have I been jealous of my neighbor? Has this caused resentment or strife? Have I been content with what God has given to me? Have I lusted after my neighbor’s spouse or been grateful for the relationship I have? Have I caused trouble in my neighbor’s family, or have I encouraged stability in their home and family life?

These last two commands push us to examine our hearts and imaginations—have I coveted that which I have not stolen, wished someone dead who I did not kill, lusted but did not act on the impulse?

When was the last time you let the 10 commandments examine you?

 

HYMN of the DAY             “Canticle of the Turning”            red book # 723

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY ANTHEM              “Remember”

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS              “Lamb of God”

Also, red book # 337, red book # 485

Sending

BLESSING

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG              “God of Grace and God of Glory”             red book # 705

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

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