Tag Archives: Ten Commandments

Litany for Lent 3B 

The Old Testament lesson and responding Psalm for the third Sunday in Lent, Year B (RCL) work well when woven together as a responsive reading. First UMC New Ulm, MN will use this Litany, taken from Exodus 20 and Psalm 19, in worship on March 4, 2018. 

ONE:   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.”

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

“You shall not make for yourself an idol.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Honor your father and your mother.”

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.

“You shall not murder.”

The ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

“You shall not commit adultery.”

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

“You shall not steal.”

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

“You shall not bear false witness.”

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

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

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

Words to Live By – Sermon on Exodus 20:1-17

October 11, 2015


From Three Little Kittens, illustrated by Lilian Oblgado © 1974 by Random House, Inc.

When our boys were little, they loved to read books. Well, they loved to have us read books to them anyway. One of our favorites was a beautifully illustrated version of “The Three Little Kittens.” One of the kittens in this story wore a green plaid coat. This was the kitten who was never happy. Arms crossed, brow furrowed, the kitten in the green plaid coat looked stubborn and rebellious. Whenever one of our boys started to pout about something, we’d tell him, “you look like the kitten in the green plaid coat” and he’d know exactly what we meant.

I think, at some point or another in our lives, each of us might be the kitten in the green plaid coat. We rebel a little bit when we don’t get what we want. We pout. We cross our arms and frown, and refuse to be happy. We resist the rules. We dislike authority. That’s why we have trouble with the Ten Commandments. We see God’s rule for life as too restrictive. But God didn’t put these words into place to keep us from being happy. God has something else in mind for each of us. God’s plan is to be with us, to live life with us.

The Big Idea of the whole Bible is God’s declaration, “I want to come down and dwell with you. I want to live among the people I created specifically for that purpose.” Even though humans messed up that plan at the very beginning, God is still working to make it happen. Continue reading

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