Light a Candle to begin your prayer:
Almighty God open my mind and heart to your word as I read of your gift of Unity Amen
Read Exodus chapter 20
And God spoke all these words:
‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
‘You shall have no other gods before me.
‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
‘You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
‘Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
‘You shall not murder.
‘You shall not commit adultery.
‘You shall not steal.
‘You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
‘You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.’
Reflection on Bible Reading:
To understand these commandments correctly we must put them into context. These Laws were written for a tribal society living in tents. Some of them are relatively straightforward like don’t kill people. Or is it? Do you get cross with people, do you want to hit people? Also, if taken literally, I think we can all say that we haven’t converted your neighbour’s ass. But, we may get jealous when he turns up with nice shoes on. The Bible contains lots of Laws, these are guidelines that need to be interpreted for each generation. They all apply to us even though we don’t live in a tribal society, but, we have to take the spirit of them not the letter of them and apply it to our lives and our society. If we take the letter of them we are all OK because nobody has got an ass to covet.
Pray this prayer aloud:
the earth is full of the glory of your love.
May we your children, born of the Spirit,
so bear witness to your Son Jesus Christ, crucified and risen,
that all the world may believe and have eternal life
through the One who saves,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen
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