10 Commandments: 1st and 2nd

Opening Prayer

God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise. Fill us with your Spirit, guide us by your Word, and help us as we seek to follow you and your commandments. Amen.

Exodus 20:1-3:   “Then God spoke all these words: 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; you shall have no other gods before me.”

The First Commandment
You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?
According to Martin Luther in the Small Catechism, this Commandment means that “we are to fear, love and trust God above all things.”

What does this mean for me?

From fame to money to possessions, the list of things competing to be #1 in your life is extremely long. The 1st Commandment reminds us to keep God at the center of our lives and to allow God’s love for us and our love for God to shape how we view everything else in our lives.

The Second Commandment
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.

What does this mean?
According to Martin Luther in the Small Catechism, this Commandment means that “we are to fear and love God, so that we do not curse, swear, practice magic, lie, or deceive using God’s name, but instead use that very name in every time of need to call on, pray to, praise, and give thanks to God.”

What does this mean for me?

Language is powerful. The words we use matter. The Second Commandment reminds us of the importance of treating God and God’s name with respect. When you talk about God, use words that reflect what you believe about God. When you talk to God, use words that reflect who you are and the way that you like people to speak to you.

Reflection Questions (Answer Question 3 in the comments below)

1. Thinking about the news events of the last few weeks, how have people been breaking or keeping these commandments?

2. How can each of these good things become a ‘god’ if we are not careful?
Money Possessions Another Person Sports

3. What is competing with God for first place in your life?

Closing Prayer

Gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

“Luther’s Small Catechism with Evangelical Lutheran Worship Texts.” Copyright © 2000, 2006 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Prayers are adapted from “ELW -Additional Prayers” Copyright © 2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #25165.