Prayer of Presence:
Here I am as fully in your presence as I am able to be,
Offering my fears, my needs, my hopes, my love, and my life.
For I am yours and belong to no other.
(from "40 Days of with Wesley," by Rueben P. Job, p. 29)
Scripture: Today’s reading is from Exodus 20:12-17
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
This portion of the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) addresses the second part of the Great Commandment Jesus refers to in the gospels. That is, ” ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ .” (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:31).
The commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” focuses on the flourishing of life and well-being of our neighbor, our communities, our nation, and the world. The commandments to love God and love neighbor is interdependent because how we think about our relationship with God will deeply affect how we think about and act toward our neighbor. If we think God is gracious, then we are gracious to others. Is God just? Then we are just. Is God good? Then as God’s people, we are good to others. Is God merciful? Then we are merciful. Is God patient and long-suffering? Then so are we. Does God make provision for our lives to flourish? Then we should make provision for the lives of others to flourish.
The 10 Commandments present the world with a radical and new way of thinking and living in relationship with God and our neighbors. They call us to experience a vibrant spiritual life in God that is essential to inner and outer peace and to a contented quality of life. They teach us to affirm human rights and dignity that build societies on the foundation of trust and peace. The commandments provide us with an outline of a radical spiritual and social vision of what kingdom life can be like on earth as it is in heaven.
Questions for Reflection: