10 Commandments: 5th and 6th

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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 20:1-14:   “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 not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.”

The Fifth Commandment
You shall not murder.

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 neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors, but instead help and support them in all of life’s needs.”

What does this mean for me?

Life is a precious gift. The Fifth Commandment encourages us not only to value and protect life, but also to look for ways to help people in times of need so that they might share in God’s abundance and love.

Here is a video from Bishop Eaton on the Fifth Commanment:

The Sixth Commandment
You shall not commit adultery.

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 lead pure and decent lives in word and deed, and each of us loves and honors his or her spouse.”

What does this mean for me?

Relationships are hard. Even the most loving couples experience times of anger, disappointment and frustration. The Sixth Commandment reminds us of the importance of working together through relationship issues that may arise and instructs us not to abandon the promises we have made to our spouse.

Here is a video from Bishop Eaton on the Sixth Commandment:

Reflection Questions (Answer Question 1 in the comments below)

1. The NRSV Bible translates the commandment “You shall not murder.” Luther’s original translation says, “You shall not kill.” How do the alternate translations make a difference in how we understand the commandment?

2. Luther suggests that killing doesn’t mean simply ending someone’s life. What are other ways that we can honor this commandment besides not endings someone’s life?

3. What does the sixth commandment mean for the promises one makes in marriage?

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.