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The Ten Commandments

 Divine service theme for October, The Ten Commandments

Three of the Ten Commandments are featured over the following Sundays in October. The terms “commandment” and “law” are translations of a single Hebrew word that literally means “instruction”. In other words, the law is the instruction of God.

The First Commandment—“I am the Lord, your God. You shall have no other gods before Me”—is the basis of the divine service on 9 October. To serve the one God also means trusting in the one God. When something goes wrong or when we are annoyed, the words, “My God!”—or something to that effect—often escape our lips. When this happens, are we really referring to our God, the Almighty, who is our Father in heaven?

The Third Commandment—“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”—is the focus of the service on 16 October, and deals with the sanctification of the Sunday. We keep it holy by worshipping God in the divine service, enjoying fellowship with Jesus Christ in word and sacrament, and by professing the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Seventh Commandment—“You shall not steal”—is the focus of the service on Sunday, 23 October. It is important to protect the freedom given to us by Christ through the gospel (Galatians 5: 13) from thieves, and even to defend it vigorously if necessary. Those who love Christ and make the kingdom of God their goal, will not “steal”, that is to say, they will not take anything from their neighbor but rather endeavor to multiply his well-being. They will promote the faith of their neighbor and help him to prepare for the return of Christ.

In preparation for the divine service for the departed, we recommend you read the second Special Edition of the Divine Service Guide. We cannot redeem the departed through our prayers, but we can attest to our love for them. The position an individual has taken with regard to God can still change and develop for the better by turning to Him. To this end, let us serve both the living and the dead through our example and intercessions.

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