Reflections: Tuesday of the Sixth Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Exodus 20:1-17

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 10:1-27; Acts 22:17-29

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Before the Law is given, the Gospel rings forth. God reminds His people that He is their God and they are His people. He chose them to be His own. He delivered them from their slavery in the land of Egypt—a testimony of His love for them.

The Ten Commandments, then, are not a list of arbitrary rules handed down from some distant, uncaring, “cosmic kill-joy god.” They are the rules and statutes laid down by a loving Father for His own children. These commandments are good, each reflecting God’s own goodness. They outline the good life according to God’s design, protecting and upholding God’s good gifts to us. Our creator God knows what is good for us, and when we keep these commandments, we are truly blessed, and also are a blessing to others.

As our loving Father, God is also very serious about these commandments. They reflect God’s holiness. They are not a collection of “divine suggestions.” Your Father really wants you to lead a holy life, for your own sake and for the sake of others. When you fail to do so, God’s good commandments condemn and convict you, showing how you have fallen short in your love for God and for your neighbor. By this word of Law, your loving Father disciplines and chastises you. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Hebrews 12:6).

Do not despise the discipline of the Lord, but confess: “I, a poor, miserable sinner. . . ” You can speak this truth, because your Father is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:8–10). Instead, He deals with you according to His Son, Jesus, who alone obeyed every commandment, and paid the ultimate price for sinners. On Thursday we will see how Baptism unites you to the perfect obedience and atoning sacrifice of Jesus, setting you free—free to be all that Christ has declared you to be. Now, in that freedom, you love the Law and strive to obey your loving Father who has given these commandments to you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

To Jesus we for refuge flee, Who from the curse has set us free, And humbly worship at His throne, Saved by His grace through faith alone. (“The Law of God Is Good and Wise” LSB 579, st.6)

-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.