Love Takes Shape: Jesus, Love, and The Ten Commandments
That’s the title of our current sermon series at church. Judging by reactions, people aren’t sure what to make of this. They like the word “love,” and everybody feels good about Jesus. But what about the Ten Commandments? How did an archaic and oppressive list of commands sneak into the mix with Jesus and love? People look at me like I’ve sugar coated the poison pill. What’s up? Is this some sort of pastoral sleight of hand, a spiritual bait and switch?
This is what I expected. I’m good with the tension. Let’s stir things up a bit. After all, It was Jesus himself who made the connection between love and commandments (Matthew 22:34-40).
Here’s the problem: our reading of the Ten Commandments has been hijacked. We’ve lifted them out of Bible and pasted them on plaques. It’s a huge mistake to take the Ten Commandments out of the story God placed them in. The larger story that surrounds them is the key to their meaning. We’re on a mission to put the Ten Commandments back into the story God gave them in. But it’s more than a story.
For more check out last Sunday’s sermon: Love Starts With a Story
I’ve been thinking intensely about the Ten Commandments for about seven years now. I know, that’s a bit obsessive – welcome to my world.
There’s something profound and life shaping going on here. Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Maybe there’s a better way to hear the Ten Commandments – set back into the larger story. Maybe there’s something unexpected here: a window into the heart of God, a gateway into a rich experience of his grace, and a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God and others.
Let me recommend two book on the Ten Commandments to help you dig deeper. They are short, to the point, and filled with rich insights. You will encounter Jesus and love in each.
If you attend River West Church,
these are available in the book section in the community room.
Both are available on Amazon.