The easiest commandment to keep?

Signpost for Sunday 5 October, 2014: Exod 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Ps 19; Phil 3:4b-14;
Matt 21:33-46

As it’s been a particularly busy week, in a good way, tomorrow I’m going to keep the fourth commandment. It’s probably the easiest one to keep for those of us who are lucky enough not to be doctors, nurses, police, supermarket workers, chefs, waiters and waitresses, garden centre employees, cinema attendants, burger flippers, bus drivers, airport staff, air craft staff; DIY store staff or people who work in any kind of shop, librarians even, well, you get the point. How many people these days can take even the fourth commandment literally?

I won’t be going shopping for fruit and vegetables as I often do on Sunday and it won’t make me one jot more virtuous than I was before when I’ve been shopping on Sunday.

Which is why I found one or two helpful comments on the Exodus reading that I came across today interesting; you might too.

Callie Plunket-Brewton reckons that the first four commandments are all about getting the Jews to understand who they are as God’s people. What the first four commandments boil down to, she says, is this: “the people are to match God’s single-minded devotion to them with a single-minded devotion to God.” I like that idea. What do you think?

My second find comes from a blog I stumbled across called Bite in the Apple written by Nancy Rockwell. Here’s what she has to say:

“It is worth saying that all the Commandments are always being broken in this world, and that each of us, in our own lives, manages to break them all one way or another.

It is worth saying that the Law was meant to be written in our hearts, and not on the walls of our courtrooms or classrooms, or even our churches, for their role is to provoke confession, not to justify the administration of punishment by others.”

She goes on to say that a prayer for mercy is the right response to the Law if we believe that God is a God of mercy.



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