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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Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Do not kill.

Do not commit adultery.

Do not steal.

Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

Do not desire your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

Exodus 20:12-17

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In the last few days we’ve been reading the Ten Commandments. The previous commandments have focused on right relationship with God (worshiping God alone) and right relationship with our humanity (practicing Sabbath and rest). Today’s set of commandments focus on right relationship with other people. This passage starts with relationships closest to us – honoring our parents – and then right relationships in the rest of society.

You might think this part is easy – most of us don’t murder or steal or lie. I invite you to consider not just the letter of these laws, but the spirit. When do you allow hatred or anger to take root in your heart? Is there someone you are jealous of today? Are there broken relationships in your life? What would it take to mend or reconcile?

Susan Sytsma Bratt

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Loving God, you created each of us human beings in your image. Yet too often I fail to see the image of God in my neighbor. I allow prejudice, hatred, or jealousy to separate me from others. Give me eyes to see my neighbors as you see them, as beloved children of God. Amen.

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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.

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Ken Medema

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