"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Preaching Series on the Ten Commandments
Exodus 19:1-6, 20:1-17 Commentary
by Rolf Jacobson
My teacher James Arne Nestingen once said, “Every preacher should preach through the Ten Commandments once every three years.”
Ideally, a sermon series on the Decalogue would run twelve weeks -- one week to proclaim the theological context of the law, ten weeks for the commandments themselves, and a final week to proclaim the paradox that we are freed from the law in order to make ourselves subject to the neighbor in love (see Galatians 5:1-12). Ideally.
But the realities of the calendar often impinge on ideals. So, the way that the Narrative Lectionary lays out the summer of 2018 allows for only four Sundays on the Ten Commandments. The first week is intended to provide the theological and narrative context for the law. The second week is devoted to Exodus 20:3-11, which is the first table of the Decalogue -- those laws that govern our relationship with God.
The third week’s text is Exodus 20:12-16 -- which includes most of the second table of the law, those laws that govern our relationships with each other. And the fourth week is devoted solely to the coveting commandment(s). The decision to have a single ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 136: Preaching Series on the Ten Commandments
May 27, 2018
This re-broadcast podcast covers the summer preaching series on the Ten Commandments (first aired in June 2014). Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for a conversation on the Narrative Lectionary. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for WorkingPreacher.org.