Daily Archives: March 8, 2015

Instant Response: A Biblical Mash-Up

Traditionally, the response in worship to a reading from the Old Testament is the recitation or singing of a psalm. So it’s no surprise when the psalm chosen for a given Sunday reflects the Old Testament reading in some way. But what happens when you realize that a good chunk of the psalm for the third Sunday in Lent fits into an abridged version of the Ten Commandments, the text for the day? This litany, that’s what.

LITANY from Exodus 20 and Psalm 19

LEADER:
God spoke from the mountain and said: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.”

PEOPLE:
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart.

LEADER:
“You shall not make for yourself an idol.”

PEOPLE:
The commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes.

LEADER:
“You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.”

PEOPLE:
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.

LEADER:
“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.”

PEOPLE:
The decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple.

LEADER:
“Honor your father and your mother.”

PEOPLE:
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.

LEADER:
“You shall not murder.”

PEOPLE:
The ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

LEADER:
“You shall not commit adultery.”

PEOPLE:
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

LEADER:
“You shall not steal.”

PEOPLE:
Moreover by your commands is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

LEADER:
“You shall not bear false witness.”

PEOPLE:
But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

LEADER:
“You shall not covet … anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

PEOPLE:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

ALL: Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts.

Counting Past Ten – Sermon on Exodus 20:1-17 Lent 3B

The school principal leaned through the classroom doorway
and caught the teacher’s eye.

“Could I have a word with you?”

It might mean any number of things.

Maybe the Board of Education had voted to give all teachers a raise.
Maybe there would be a fire drill in a few minutes,
or school was being dismissed early.
Maybe the principal wanted the teacher to take recess duty,
or serve on that new district-wide committee,
or turn in grades before the end of the day.

Maybe an angry parent had called.
Maybe contracts were not being renewed for next year.
Maybe someone had been taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Maybe someone had died.

“Could I have a word with you?” might mean anything at all.
It could be good news or bad news.
“A word” could be cause for anxiety or it could be a reason to rejoice.
It could be a word of warning or a word of promise.

As Moses met with God at the top of Mount Sinai, he must have considered all these possibilities. Continue reading