Posted by: Pauline | March 1, 2015

Scriptures for Sunday March 8

Exodus 20:1-17

The Ten Commandments evoke very mixed reactions in today’s society. To some, they are the gold standard of moral guidance, transcending time and culture with principles that provide for a just and moral society. To others, they are the vestiges of a patriarchal society and hidebound religious views, best left in museums and history books but kept out of the public square.

To those of us who recognize the Scriptures as God’s Word to us, the Ten Commandments tell us not only how God intends us to live, but also reveal something of His nature and character to us. They are both instructions for life and a reminder of how far we fall short of God’s standard, a reason both to ask for His forgiveness for our failures and for the strength and wisdom to learn to live by His rules.

Psalm 19

This psalm reminds of two different ways we learn of God, what theologians call general revelation and special revelation. Nature is seen by all, and the beauty and majesty we witness in the created world tell us of the glory of the Creator. God’s commands, on the other hand, are only known by those to whom God has revealed them and those with whom that revelation has been shared. If we know and keep God’s commands, we are blessed, because we live righteous lives.

John 2:13-22

The money-changers in the temple and those who were selling animals may not have thought they were obstructing the right worship of God. They knew the Commandments against worship of any other god or of creating idols. They weren’t promoting idol-worship, they were providing the proper offerings and sacrifices to God. Likewise, many people today think of idolatry as just something done by primitive people who worship gods made of stone or metal.

But Jesus saw deeper into people’s hearts and knew that the worship in the temple had been corrupted by the commercial activity taking place there. True worship was focused on God, not on rituals. And he hinted at a future time when the temple building would be no more, and true worshipers would find the presence of God in the risen Christ.

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