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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

The First Commandment

Then God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. 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. You shall not bow down to them or serve them." ~ Exodus 20:1-5a

When the Pharisees heard that (Jesus) had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, an expert in the law, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:34-40

What is meant by this Commandment? Answer. We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. ~ Martin Luther

Seems pretty cut and dried, doesn't it?

I mean, I haven't built myself any golden calves lately.

But do I love and trust God above all things? Above my family? My career? My money? My "stuff?" My other relationships? What does it mean to love and trust God more than anything else?

And do I fear God above all things? Am I awed by God above all else? Or does my fear center on my personal anxieties or worries for the state of the world?

In Matthew (and the other gospels) Jesus summarized the commandments as loving God and loving neighbor (note that he doesn't say anything about fear here)!

As we move through the commandments, ask yourself with each one how it fits into Jesus' summary of them.

And ask what are the ways in which we all forget to put God above all things.

A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.

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