I have been reading Geoffrey Butcher’s (Trinity Episcopal here in Russellville) book of devotionals entitled, “Without the Miracle There Is Nothing.” In one of the devotionals Geoffrey talks about the 10 Commandments. Geoffrey and I think alike on a number of issues;
1. The 10 Commandments have been an integral part of Jewish and Christian tradition.
2. The debate over whether they can be posted in court houses in light of the separation of church and state is misplaced. They can be viewed as a code of ethics which is part of our culture.
3. There are 613 more commandments in the Old Testament, that reflect different times and conditions in Israel’s’ history.
4. Four of the commandments refer to our relationship with God and six refer to our relationships with others.
Still the 10 Commandments need to be taken in context with the greatest event in Israel’s history. The Exodus literally means “the road out;” the road out of slavery to the Promised Land. It is a story of liberation. We are meant to be free.
Those who say that the Old Testament is to be ignored are not right. Jesus was a Jew who had the 10 Commandments and the Exodus firmly in his background. Jesus is a liberator as well; He has liberated us from slavery to sin and death; He is the road out of darkness; He is the way to the Promised Land and the union with God.
The point is that whether it is Moses or Jesus, they are part of the same story; the story of God’s striving to be with us now and forever. It is a story of justice and liberation. It is a story of love, and it is our story as well.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Wayne Sayre
United Methodist Temple