Mon. March 11

Monday March, 11, 2019

Today’s Focus        The “Second Table” of the Ten Commandments

Scripture Reading for the Day                Mark 12:28-34

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[g] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[h] No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 Daily Reflection         Luther’s Explanation to commandment four through ten

(excerpted from “Luther’s Small Catechism, Study Edition,
Augsburg Fortress, 2016)

The Fourth Commandment
           Honor your father and your mother.

What does this mean?
           We are to fear and love God, so that we neither despise no anger our parents and others in authority, but instead honor, serve, obey, love, and respect them.

The Fifth Commandment
            You shall not murder.

What does this mean?
            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.

The Sixth Commandment
            You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?
            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.

The Seventh Commandment
            You shall not steal.

What does this mean?
            We are to fear and love God, so that we neither take our neighbors’ money or property nor acquire them by using shoddy merchandise or crooked deals, but instead help them to improve and protect their property and income.

The Eighth Commandment
            You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

What does this mean?
           We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations.  Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.

The Ninth Commandment
            You shall not covet your neighbor’s house

What does this mean?
            We are to fear and love God, so that we do not try to trick our neighbors out of their inheritance or property or try to get it for ourselves by claiming to have a legal right to it and the like, but instead be of help and service to them in keeping what is theirs.

The Tenth Commandment
            You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What does this mean?
            We are to fear and love God, so that we do not entice, force, or steal away from our neighbors their spouses, household workers, or livestock, but instead urge them to stay and fulfill their responsibility to our neighbors.

 Some Questions for reflection

  • The “Second Table” of the ten commandments deals with our relationship with our neighbors. Who truly are “our neighbor?”  Who do we normally treat like “neighbors?”
  • In what tangible ways can be begin loving our “neighbors” in deeper and more profound ways?

Today’s pilgrimage challenge

  • Find a “neighbor” who most people wouldn’t necessarily consider a “neighbor” and perform a random act of kindness for them. Perhaps you could purchase a cup of coffee for them, help them put groceries in their car, help them across a street.  Think about how this action made you feel, how you hope it made the person feel, then share with your group.

 Today’s prayer

Almighty God, You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to Yourself.  We praise and bless You for those whom You have sent in the power of the Spirit to bear witness to Your light to all the nations.  We thank You that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place Your servants call upon Your name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are Yours forever.  Amen.

7 thoughts on “Mon. March 11

  1. Keith Ricks

    NOTE: After this one thing below, I will be adding Discipline 3 to My list, Restraint from pointing out other peoples obvious spelling corrections… on this blog only… but PLEASE point out mine… I Love that and for reason, need it…

    We are to fear and love God, so that we neither despise no (typo) should be NOR anger our parents and others in authority, but instead honor, serve, obey, love, and respect them.

    – Oh My Lord, am I Just Understanding this Now after 50 Years of Existence? What did I say recently about God Splashes! You go give God one; “Okay, I tell You what God, We’ll talk once a day… like in Private when I shower, but it won’t be Praying and if You expect Me to mention You to Anyone, Ever, or Read that Bible K-rap… well You can Just hang-up Your Towel Now!” And the next thing You know I’m Walking around with a “Heaven Ticket”, complementing the Cable Guy, Capitalizing pronouns because You have God in You and that Deserves the same respect as the word God… not to mention I AM USING THE WORD GOD LEFT AND RIGHT, I’m writing in a Church blog, and Seeing these same Old Statements as if I had Never Read them before… and they’re not making me Angry. … and God Splashes all Over Your Life. What a messy, Messy Lord we have. Love, Kindness and Understanding just gets all over the place, … and We’re the Children!

    Before I Gave God a bit of space in My Heart, I believe I was unknowingly so full of Anger that when I would Read Lines such as this, even lines that were not related to God, ones that may have been related to Any type of Authority. Law; such as Police, Judges or Politicians etc.. , School Teachers, Work leaders or Bosses… Parents, Relatives, Other Adults and so on…, I would interpret the descriptive words in their Harshest meanings. We all know how many ways words like FEAR, SERVE, OBEY, RESPECT can be viewed from the minds of those who have been Hurt or Oppressed in any way in their lives. Yes, I recall that in Myself and see that in Others today, and Many Youth, especially in this world where People have been Hurt and disappointed by Leaders of Faith and all Types of Religions and Spiritual Organizations. The mere mention of God, Christ or Jesus spark a variety of reactions not in favor of the current standings of world Religions. Personally, the World Religions, I truly see and Feel in my Heart as Failing… Both in as Entities and as in their duties and responsibilities towards Us, Gods Teenagers. Yes, that is correct. I believe we must recognize this and Firstly, as Teenagers, take Responsibility for Ourselves, Our Family, Our Rooms and the Home we live in (All the Other People in Our Country, Other Countries… by taking care of Our Land and The Whole Planet and its Creatures , for those who don’t get the point there) … and Yes, that is because we are not JUST Kids anymore…. We need to ATLEAST be Gods’ TEENAGERS! I say that because We are discontent with Our Parent, rebellious against Our Parent – though the common thought is God does exist, the Problem is RELIGION… THE METHOD or Rules in Which we Abide… See? Follows the Logic of Teenager issues, does it not? We Need New Rules, New Guidelines, New New… We do Not Know What We Want… Just Like Teens.

    GOD, “ How was Earth today, What did You do? Learn anything New?”
    TRULY HUMAN HUMAN TEEN, … almost wipes one shoe on mat, half zipped back pack hits second step on staircase and spills all over floor, Stinky TURLY HUMAN TEEN plops on couch… and starts playing “The Deer God” on Nintendo Switch.
    GOD, (Thinks, but not sure) God might had heard a “ugng.. nog.. ump” response… but it might have been the one shoe that slung off when they flopped on the couch.
    GOD, “Seems like You may have had a busy day, why don’t I get You something to eat. Would You pick up Your back pack please, it didn’t make it on the hook and it looks like some of Your personal stuff spilled out.”
    TEEN, “GOD! Your always on my case! blab la! gripe gripe! Yell, Complain! Not My Fault! What did I do! Cry… Cry.. Not Fair! Not Fair!! Too Hard! They have it Better!! Well, I’m Not gonna Pray to You! You’ll See! I’ll Make My Own Miracles!… what are You making me to eat?… oh, did You do laundry? Don’t forget Practice got changed from 7:30 to 6:45 and there’s a Teacher parent thing tomorrow after school… I forget what time, I forgot to tell You that You have to be there ‘cause I’m getting an award… and Can I get a Cell phone? Everybody else got one….”
    What… babbling? Of Course. Do I ever stop kidding? Why should I? The point of living is to do it Well, Enjoy it, Spread Light, Love and Happiness… and all that comes pretty nicely packaged in a Smile now doesn’t it?
    Oh, but, fine… Here is My Truly Human Human View (minus the Fun)

    Fear and Love God – WHY?
    So that we neither despise NOR anger our Parents and Others in Authority, BECAUSE:
    They don’t deserve it. OUR Loved ones LOVE US and are only looking out for Us, Care for and Helping Us – To the Best they Know How. Be it the “We deserve a cookie” or “Oh that’s gonna leave a scar.”

    The OTHER Authorities for the most part, are looking out for Us, as Well as their Loved ones. As a Job and Duty, they want to Keep us safe which will Also Help Keep Their Loved Ones Safe. Plus, they Just want to get through their day and job Safely without stress just like we do, so they can go Home to the ones they Love and the Life they want to Enjoy and Live Happily.
    We Must Remember that We are Those OTHER people. Whatever our Jobs, whatever we are doing… shopping or working… it is a dual life… We want to be treated well and to come home with less stress and see our loved ones and know they have been safe and are going to treat us well.
    We need to be Honorable People to receive respect and expect that there will be Some that will not treat us as we deserve but we will be strong and turn and look hard at them and the others as they have been MOST LILELY been mistreated and We will Serve the God in Us with Respect and Love and show that Outwardly with Honor by putting the Love, Kindness, Respect and Understanding back onto the God that is Still within them… and It will go Forward. Just don’t expect it to reflect back onto You, as I have found that not to often be the case. I will share though, in My Many, Many adventures in Weis Grocery Markets I have put out Gods Love and Kindness to people, went home and when I spoke to God I Told God how I can’t imagine God would want anything other than me to drop a carton of eggs on their face, yet there has been in recent times where I have seen some of these people in different light and I realize not knowing what was behind the lives of these people and their experiences and mental and emotionally where they are at this experience point of their life… Well, I apologized to God and I gained a new Understanding and Place as a Human being. So this does work. I speak to this person at Weis and at their job where I see them very often, and now they are very Kind to me, oddly I am but one of few they expend that energy on.
    WHEW! CA-LICK! Serious Keith is OFF!
    For this Week Folks I am finding myself with Free Time as School is Out Until Fall, So, I am Starting a God Project. See Later Post.
    P and S: I forgot, This also Hit on ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Ya know, because We are both the “Parent” and “Others” and “We or Us” all have “God” within! Get it? Huh?
    Love, Keith

  2. Keith Ricks

    In my earlier Post today I stated:
    The mere mention of God, Christ or Jesus spark a variety of reactions not in favor of the current standings of world Religions. Personally, the World Religions, I truly see and Feel in my Heart as Failing… Both in as Entities and as in their duties and responsibilities towards Us…..– though the common thought is God does exist.
    Well, I am just needing to know more and so I am going to try to venture out, while I am feeling brave, and ask – slash – interview people who will have it. First, I am going to start with some locals and I am also going to gather from some of You-All any specific questions to ask, that You might want to know… be warned, I may soften them a bit if they are Harsh… I Know! DID KEITH JUST SAY THAT?!? I will keep Y’all up dated on how it is going. I have my first sit in today at 4:45 with Macungian Neighbors who “kinda believe in God but doesn’t do the whole praying or religion thing – ever because it’s all a ‘scam’ ” and believe Me I am Shocked I got an audience with them on this topic!

  3. Mel Olenwine

    Well. The human condition. These are all bad ones. Not bad commandments. Just not easy ones for mere mortals. We must strive to do better. Every day a fresh start to get it right. Maybe we get one or two right. Each day is an opportunity to become more Christlike. We may succeed, we probably will fail…but little by little we can get to where we need to be. I could say something about each and every one of these “second table” commandments, but I won’t. Because God doesn’t consider lying or talking badly about a co-worker to be better commandments to break than murder, now does he? We may think certain things, but God doesn’t prioritize his rules. Instead I’ll go out (tomorrow because I appear to be in for the night even though it’s still light out (YAY!)…and perform a random act of kindness or two or three. Namaste.

    1. Keith Ricks

      Hmm, I agree. Can’t Argue with that. Having said that, somebody is going to have to go Scrape Pastor Jerry Up off the floor and administer Smelling Salts! Well Spoken…or Typed. I find Your thought process interesting. Have we met? I’d been the one talking out a triathlon. Well, I can’t wait to meet You if I haven’t and sit and listen for a change… Oops, back down Goes P.J. with that comment.

  4. Karen Favinger

    Volunteering at the soup kitchen has allowed me to get to know some of my homeless “neighbors”. It is surprising how helping others actually helps yourself. Who is our neighbor? Anyone in need, whether victims of natural disasters, medical issues, mental issues, the list goes on and on. At times it can almost feel overwhelming, but if we each do our little part to help our “neighbor” the burden becomes less. Our church had many who help our neighbors at New Bethany, the food pantry, the winter homeless shelter and the soup kitchen. However, I hope to add today’s challenge to just do a random act of kindness.

    1. Keith Ricks

      Karen, I always admire how easily helping comes to You ( and I Know, You Know Me! ) And I’m not talking about all the individual things, I’m referring to Public and Group types of activities that You partake. I have only found myself ‘Brave’ on rare occasions to be able to venture out into groups of people and display Loving and Kind acts of God. For any other reason, Yes. Just not when my heart was in it. Sounds backwards. However, I want You to Know that It is You and others like You I have been watching do this very thing with such Happiness for Others that has brought out that desire in me so strongly, I have begun to be ‘Brave’ enough, well, Brave enough for a toe dipping or two…, as You may have read in my blogging. So, Thank You for that Inspiration. Keith.

  5. Pastor Jerry

    You are all great! Wonderful thoughts…. and now I have the added benefit of knowing that the time that I spend typing so quickly and misspelling words annoys my brother in Christ…. sorry about that. I really believe that yes…. it is true we are all human…. but to be human is to take time to learn and to grow in order that each day we are not only renewed but that we have an opportunity to allow the world around us to be renewed.
    Peace, blessings and love,


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