Texts for the Day
- Semi-continuous: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 and Psalm 19
- Thematic: Isaiah 5:1-7 and Psalm 80:7-15
- Philippians 3:4b-14
- Matthew 21:33-46
Commentary and Reflection
The Ten Commandments – Spend some time this week reading about the Ten Commandments in Luther’s catechisms. The first section of the Small Catechism offers some basic instruction. The Large Catechism section on the Ten Commandments is quite lengthy, so perhaps pick and choose one or more commandments that you find particularly interesting and skim the rest.
Notice at the end the way Luther concludes the discussion.
Therefore it is not in vain that it is commanded in the Old Testament to write the Ten Commandments on all walls and corners, yes, even on the garments, not for the sake of merely having them written in these places and making a show of them, as did the Jews, but that we might have our eyes constantly fixed upon them, and have them always in our memory, and that we might practice them in all our actions and ways, and every one make them his daily exercise in all cases, in every business and transaction, as though they were written in every place wherever he would look, yea, wherever he walks or stands. Thus there would be occasion enough, both at home in our own house and abroad with our neighbors, to practice the Ten Commandments, that no one need run far from them.
Do you agree with this sentiment? How does this reflect upon or inform the current controversies centered around public display of the Ten Commandments?
More Skipped Text – The lectionary has been moving through Matthew more or less in order. However, before last Sunday’s text, there was an important transition that went unmentioned. Jesus is now in Jerusalem. Read Matthew 21:1-17. This is the story of the entry into Jerusalem and the cleansing of the Temple.
Our readings last week and this week are events that happened the next day. Jesus and the chief priests are not getting along. But instead of apologizing or even attempting to negotiate, Jesus tells this strongly worded parable. Why do you think he did this?