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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Imagine a world where the 10 Commandments were taken seriously. Sermon text Lent 2B

Mar 2, 2012

10 commandments & 3 Purposes 

Audio direct link 

If only people would live by the 10 commandments... 

1. If only God was honoured above all else... 

2. ...created things and personalities were not treated as gods but honoured for what or who they are... 

3. ...if only God’s Name was not used as a swear word or like a magic spell... if only those who falsely say that they do a thing in God’s name would be honest and admit that what they do, they do for themselves and not for God. 

4. If only people would stop and rest and reflect at least one day in seven, so that life and family relationships may be longer and richer, so that tired bodies and souls would have time to recover. 

5. If only children would honour and respect their parents when they are old and when they are young so that our city and nation would be stronger and the cultures of drug and alcohol abuse could be no more. 

6. If only murder, real murder, but also the hatred which would like to destroy another, that hatred which most of us have felt at some time, if only there was none of it, no murder, real or imagined.

7. If only men and women were faithful to one-another, keeping their wedding vows to love, honour, cherish and serve each-other, instead of seeking to meet their own sexual and emotional needs wherever and with whoever they want. Imagine it, no divorce, no domestic violence, no custody battles, instead faithfulness, real listening, working hard through issues, respect, man and wife serving each other and meeting the other’s emotional, physical and sexual needs. 

8. Imagine a world where nobody ever took something which was not theirs. Not just the burglars, thieves and con-artists, but those who take stuff from work because everybody does it, or the little child who takes a bickie from the jar without permission, or the person who steals the credit from another who has earned it. A world like that would be a world without locked doors and a world without locked hearts. It would be a world of trust where hitch-hikers and strangers, rich and poor, black and white would be welcomed into our cars our houses our work-places and our families.

9. If only, when someone spoke about you it was to say what is good and true about you, not to gossip, or to lie or to say things that would get back at you or make others turn against you. Imagine our courts never having to decide what the truth is, because everything said was true. In such a world justice would be perfect and all neighbours would be friends.

10. And finally imagine a world where every-one was content with what they had and did not envy others their possessions, qualities, their jobs or their relationships. In such a world there would be enough for all, everyone would be content and there would be no mad scrambling for the newest, the best, the most powerful or the brightest. Instead there would be confident enjoyment of all the many blessings God so freely gives us.

Well in the ten commandments this is the kind of world which God imagines for Israel, for all God’s people and for the whole of human kind. 

[next] It’s just so simple - we have the rules so why don’t we just follow them??? Well the answer is that we are sinners. The people of Israel never kept these 10 rules.... Even David their greatest king broke at least two of the rules... In Jesus’ time the money changers and sellers were not properly honouring (worshiping) God... stopping others from honouring worshipping ... that’s why Jesus gets so angry... And each of us if we hare honest... 

And that is one of the purposes of the 10 commandments. To show us we’re sinners. “Oh that’s great... NOT!!!.... Why bother...” 

[next] Well to show us we are sinners is one of the things the top 10 is for there’s at least two more. One is to show us that what the world could be like. I’ve given today’s service the theme the Top 10 because the 10 Commandments are more than a set of rules. They are a vision... That’s what I was trying to do at the start of the sermon. I was trying to get you to imagine a world where the Top 10, the 10 C’s... To put it another way - What it would be like if the world was how we ask it to be in the Lord’s prayer. Imagine a world where... (Kingdom come... will done...)

[next] So sinners, vision of the KOG and thirdly a way to say thank-you... [Children’s story] Even though we may fail we should have a go at the 10 in thanks to God. Sometimes we make a mistake when we look at the Bible and the 10 commandments - instruction book - if we do.... then God will love us... The very opposite is true. The Bible is primarily a relationship book, or a love letter. Instead of keep my commandments and I will love you. God is saying to us I love you so try to keep my commandments. [Repeat] The commandments are a way we can say thank-you to God for what God has done for us.

The 10 commandments begin with theses words  2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

Ex 20:2 NRSV The great saving event of the OT... The basis on which God asks them to obey is not... It is Look what I have done...

The cleansing of the temple story - reminds us of the great saving event of the New Testament - 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”...

21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. Jn 2:19, 21-22 NRSV

God rescued the people of Israel.... God rescued us in Jesus.... If God has done this then we should say thank-you and one way to do that is to do our best to obey the 10 commandments. 

[next] To sum up - the 10 commandments remind us that we are sinners... They are a vision for us of what the Kingdom of God could be like, and how we should strive to live, even... and they are one of the ways we can say thank-you to God, by trying our best... 

[next] So with a vision in your heart and mind of what the world could be like, and knowing that you are a forgiven sinner - part of the new creation, do your best to obey the 10 commandments and so say thank-you to God.