Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25

We found ourselves there in the craziness.  We had decided that we just wanted the experience.  People were everywhere.  We could not even see our destination.  We had checked it out earlier and it didn’t look too bad, but when we arrived, the crowd had more than tripled.  There was a great police presence there to try and keep order.  We were forty-five minutes early, some folks had arrived days early.  It was crazy, but there Anita and I were lined up along the wall of Target, waiting to get into Best Buy at midnight when the Black Friday sales began.  As we were standing there, I got to thinking about waiting.  It was amazing to see how many people were there waiting, because as a society we are generally people who do not like to wait.  Yet here we were, amongst hundreds of folks waiting to get into Best Buy. In a society where we do not like to wait—we have instant communication and internet with “smart mobile phones,” we have instant coffee, instant credit, instant messaging, ins…

Tenth and Final Word of Community Design - Deuteronomy 5:1-5, 21

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.  Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife." My brothers and sisters, we conclude, today, our ten-week journey through God’s Words of Community Design, or as we more commonly call them, The Ten Commandments, recalling that the Hebrew word we frequently translate as commandment is actually more commonly, throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, translated at “word” or “saying.”  Along this journey, we have come to encounter the commandments or words in such a way as to understand that they are not simply a list of do’s and don’ts but God’s guidance in helping us live together in community as He designed it to be. In the first word, “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 God’s before me,” we…

Ninth Word of Community Design - Deuteronomy 5:1-5, 20

You know, early on when we started this series on God’s Words of Community Design, our journey through what we commonly call “The Ten Commandments,” I briefly referenced the controversy that has erupted over the years and the fact that, for the most part—in most places in the United States—The Ten Commandments can no longer be displayed in a courthouse.  However, it was not until this past week that I came across the real reason.  You cannot post “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” and “Thou Shall Not Lie,” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians.  It creates a hostile work environment. As we have already gone covered the words relating to “not stealing” and “not committing adultery,” today we turn God’s Ninth Word of Community design, “Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor,” or as the Contemporary English Version of the Bible puts it, “You shall not tell lies about others.” While the Ten Commandments have been removed from the c…

Eighth Word of Community Design - Deuteronomy 5:1-5, 19

We have come to Week 8 in our journey through God’s Ten Words of Community Design.  For those who have not been with us and to help us remember where we have traveled so far, he is a quick synopsis.  We learned that the Hebrew words, ‘eser dabar (eh-ser dawbaw), which in Deuteronomy 4:13, are often translated as “the ten commandments,” are more accurately translated as, “the ten words,” suggesting that these are not ten ridged “because I told you so” rules from God, but more of God’s Words of Guidance to His people to shape them into the community in which he designed them to live.  We have also learned, as we have explored these “words” that there is more to them that simply what we see on the surface…we have even noted from time to time, how Jesus’ words during His teaching, showed the depth of God’s words for His community. Today, we come to the eighth word, “neither shall you steal.”  We probably think that this is as simple as we first thought “You shall not murder,” was.  It pret…