Pause

In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12, NRSV

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Listen

Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

You must have no other gods before me.

Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the Lord your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.

Exodus 20:1-7

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Think

How is Lent going for you? Did you decide to fast from something or add in a new Lenten discipline? If you are fasting from something, what have you noticed? Have you connected with God or the world around you differently in the last two weeks?

Our passage today is the beginning of the Ten Commandments. The passage begins with a reminder of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites, from their time in slavery to their present station in the wilderness. Then the first commandment is given. This one is foundational – God desires to be primary. There is not room for any other gods or idols. The rest of the commandments will hang on this law – reminding us that God is God, and we are not.

It is so tempting to put other things in place of God or ahead of pursuing a relationship with God. What are you depending on more than God today? How can you clear that away and make room for God?

Susan Sytsma Bratt

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Pray

Gracious God, thank you for your presence in my life and in this world. Today help me to respond to your grace with gratitude. Help me to rely more and more on you during this season of Lent. Amen.

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Go

Go out into God’s world in peace.

Have Courage.

Hold onto what is good.

Return to no one evil for evil.

Strengthen the fainthearted.

Support the weak.

Help the suffering.

Honor all people.

Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

Susan Sytsma Bratt is the Associate Pastor at Northridge Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. She drinks way too much coffee and loves exploring the world with her husband and their daughter.

Reflections on the Way: Jesus the Very Thought of Thee - How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place

Ken Medema

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