1st Tuesday in Lent
You are to have no other Gods.
What is this?
Answer: We are to fear, love, and trust God above all things.
A ‘God’ is the term for that to which we are to look for all good and in which we are to find refuge in all need. Therefore, to have a God is nothing else than to trust and believe in that one with your whole heart. As I have often said, it is the trust and faith of the heart alone that make both God and an idol. If your faith and trust are right, then your God is the true one. Conversely, where your trust is false and wrong, there you do not have the true God. For these two belong together, faith and God. Anything on which your heart relies and depends, I say, that is really your God.
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 worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God… Exodus 20:1-5a
SILENCE FOR MEDITATION
The members of Greg Walker’s Confirmation small group read the Bible verse and Martin Luther’s words about the first commandment above. They each answered and discussed questions such as “Is it easy or hard to ‘fear, love, and trust God above all things’?” and “What actions can we take that show we are loving and trusting God above all things?” Some also shared about the idols we tend to follow instead of God.
Jack Cooper: I think it’s hard to fear, love, and trust God above everything else. Some ways we try to do it can be doing nice things for other people like giving them food or a place to live. Some other things I turn to instead of God can be hockey and money. Sometimes I can get carried away with them instead of focusing on God.
Jamie Duncan: It’s hard to fear God because fearing something can often cause you to run away from it. God can be fearful because there is so much we don’t know about God, but we have to trust in Him. By believing in God, we show that we love and trust Him. Sometimes we follow false idols who are popular because we ourselves want what they have. It is often easy to turn away from God and follow the crows instead of following our own path with Him.
Matthew Kasprzak: I think it’s hard to fear and love God at the same time. Normally, fear and love don’t go together. We can show our love for God by saying prayers, doing what we say in those prayers in our real lives. Some idols we tend to follow could be sports stars or movie stars. We have to decide how to turn to God instead of them.
Julia Sulmasy: It is hard to trust, love, and fear, but it becomes easier with time. We can pray, be kind, and tell people we love them. Sometimes we turn to celebrities or counselors to follow instead of God. Our parents give us advice and wisdom too that hopefully point us to God.
Matthew Thomas: It is hard to fear, love, and trust God but you just have to do it. I try to show my love and trust in God by going to church.
God, it is easy to turn away and trust in other things. Draw us back towards you. Help us to see and know that you are at the center of our lives. Fill us with the joy of your abiding love. Amen.
Pray for those without food today. Put coins in your bank to support ELCA’s World