It’s a pity that we don’t recite the Ten Commandments very often. Unlike the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer which are repeatedly recited, we don’t often rehearse the Ten Commandments. Consequently, most church goers would be hard pressed to remember all ten.
As you read this, consider pausing right here and test yourself to see how many you can recall. Don’t be embarrassed if you come up short. You are in good company. At the same time, see if you can remedy the situation.
Martin Luther would recite the Ten Commandments every morning! He believed it was a good way to be reminded of what God’s will is for our lives. And with the help of other Scriptures, he felt that one could never exhaust their meaning and implications for who God is, and what God expects of us.
So here is the Lutheran numbering of the Ten…
You shall have no other gods.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep in holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not kill (murder).
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his cattle, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
It is worth noting that the first three commands have to do with our relationship to God, and the final seven have to do with our relationship to each other. This division is sometimes called the Two Tables of the Law.
Next week we will begin to consider Luther’s pithy explanations for each of the Commandments.
Since You Asked…
Why is the Triune Name of God repeated so frequently in our worship services?
The mystery of the Trinity is one of the most distinctive elements of our Christian Tradition. Christianity is not alone in claiming to be monotheistic (belief in one Supreme Being, one god). But Christianity holds that this One, True God has revealed himself to us as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches that God the Father has revealed himself through God the Son and in God the Spirit. Only the Son can be seen, and only through the Spirit are we enabled to believe in the Father and the Son. And so we often invoke the name of the Triune God in the mystery of our faith.