Text – Mark 9:2-9:
20 Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
This text is what Jews and Christians, alike, call the Ten Commandments. It occurs in the context of the Exodus and Israel wandering in the wilderness. The first sentence of this text summarizes the story. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
The remainder of the text describes the relationship that God wanted to have with the people of Israel, and is set inside religious ceremony that would define Israel and be observed for centuries. The Ten Laws outlined the conduct that God wanted his people to have and the Passover meal which they participated in annually was the reminder of their history as well as the way that God had delivered them from slavery to Egypt.
Now…. Think Lent. Think how, in Lent, we reflect on the ways that God has delivered us. From slavery to sin. From the captivity of our culture. From the darkness of evil. And we also eat a weekly meal that reminds us of our history and this freedom God has offered to us.
These words still remain true for us. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me. Lent leads us to the Cross and Christ’s victory over sin and death.
Dear Father, we thank you for the reminder you gave Israel in their Passover meal and you gave us in the Lord’s Supper. May we be reminded of the life to which you have called us to commit and the faith in you that we embrace daily. The words of Exodus are still relevant that “You are the Lord our God who brought us out of slavery.” Give us eyes to see the gods that we have all around us. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.