Monday of Fifth Week of Easter
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40 NLT)
E100:5.a The Law and the Land:
The Ten Commandments – Exodus 19:1—20:21 (NLT)
The Lord Reveals Himself at Sinai
Exodus 19 Exactly two months after the Israelites left Egypt, they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai. 2 After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and set up camp there at the base of Mount Sinai.
3 Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. 8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord.
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you.”
Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 10 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. 11 Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 12 Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death. 13 No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the people may go up on the mountain.”
14 So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes. 15 He told them, “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”
16 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply. 20 The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.
21 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the Lord, or they will die. 22 Even the priests who regularly come near to the Lord must purify themselves so that the Lord does not break out and destroy them.”
23 “But Lord,” Moses protested, “the people cannot come up to Mount Sinai. You already warned us. You told me, ‘Mark off a boundary all around the mountain to set it apart as holy.’”
24 But the Lord said, “Go down and bring Aaron back up with you. In the meantime, do not let the priests or the people break through to approach the Lord, or he will break out and destroy them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them what the Lord had said.
Ten Commandments for the Covenant Community
Exodus 20 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!”
21 As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.
“Awesome God” – Michael W Smith
Prayer of Intercession – Lutheran Church of Australia
Love the Lord your God: with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength –
+ Lord God heavenly Father, you have commanded us to have no other gods. Keep us faithful to you alone, dethrone the idols in our life, and give us the grace to fear/honor, love and trust you above all things.
+ Gracious Father, your name is holy. Stop us from using it in unholy ways. Let the name that you put on us in baptism keep us holy, and may we always trust in the holy name of Jesus and use his name in prayer and praise.
+ This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Almighty God and Father, you created six days in which to work and the seventh you made a day of rest. Grant that we may use the Lord’s day for rest and hearing your word.
Love your neighbor as yourself:
+ Gracious Father in heaven, in your goodness you have given us fathers and mothers whom you want us to honor. Grant that by the help of your Spirit all Christian parents may bring their children up to fear/honor and love you, and that children may not provoke their parents to anger but love, respect, and obey them. Keep the families of the church united, and strengthen them through your word.
+ Lord of life, you have created the world and you give life to all people. Grant that by your grace all may respect the sanctity of life, including the life of the unborn. Let us do nothing to hurt or harm our neighbor in any way, but rather to be of help, especially in times of need.
+ Merciful Father, you have established the state of marriage and continue to bless it. Give us grace to lead a chaste and pure life. Bless all who are married; enable them to remain faithful to their vows, and to be patient and forgiving.
+ Almighty God, you are the giver and preserver of all good things. Help us to value honest work as your gift and the means by which you bless our country. Give us joy as we serve others with unselfish hearts. Give work to the unemployed and help them to use their extra time constructively and for the good of their communities.
+ Lord God our heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ you have shown yourself to be for us and not against us. Help us to be loyal to our neighbors and do nothing to damage their reputation. Show us the log in our own eye when we find a speck in their eye. Make us more ready to forgive than to judge, and always view the actions of others in the most favorable light.
+ Gracious God and Father, you are the owner and giver of all things. Enable us to be good stewards of all your gifts, content with what you have given us, and eager to advance the cause of others even if it is to our disadvantage. Give us a generous heart and joy in serving our neighbors.
“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” – 1 John 5:3 (NLT)
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!