Exposition on 5th and 6th Commandments

Exposition on 5th and 6th Commandments

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, Amen.

These are two pretty touchy subjects tonight: murder and
sex. Now when I say just sex obviously you are understanding it in terms
of the only place where God has said, “Express it in a pleasing
manner,” meaning marriage. It’s kind of interesting in our own history, and
in our own families, we have different views of sexuality. God gave it as a
gift to be enjoyed, but He gave it as a gift to be enjoyed only in marriage,
not before marriage when you’re getting serious with that person and not after
marriage when that person may not hold the same light as they once held, but
only in that situation of marriage.

But that’s not really the most painful part of marriage, is
it? The most painful part of marriage began, well it began at the beginning of
time, when Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit that God had forbidden them to
eat from, and they were hiding from God. And when questioned, that is Adam, by
God to come clean and to confess in order to be forgiven, began the war that
has been brewing and still lurks in all of our relationships as married couples
since then, the blame game, and the use of words to kill.

When Adam was asked, “Did you eat from the fruit of the
tree which I had told you not to eat from?” And Adam responded, “The
woman You put here, oh God, she is my problem.” Men have been
blaming women for all kinds of different problems in their own lives and women
have been blaming men for their problems in their own lives. So it goes round
and round.

Throw out the door that old saying, “Sticks and stones
may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” because you have seen in
your own parents’ eyes, growing up in your family when you were a little girl
or a little boy, the great pain upon your father’s face or upon your mother’s
face by words spoken or the lack thereof words spoken. We swear to ourselves it
will never happen in my relationship with my spouse. So it goes because we
learned them from somebody, and we perpetuate them on in our own lives.

We’ve been given a great gift in our church. We have the
second largest school system in the country. Nobody, other than the Roman Catholic
Church, has more preschools, more grade schools, more high schools, or
universities than we do, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. And in those
schools there are these subjects taught as they are because we think it very
important also in our confirmation and catechetical classes for our youth and

But what separates us from every other moral institution is
the other side of the story that is proclaimed. For if all we hear is,
“Words kill,” and we know we haven’t killed other people with our
words. We’ve seen it in their faces. We felt the impact upon our own heart as
it cut us deep and wide. But without something to balm and bring comfort to
those wounds, it’s moralism, and it’s all about works. It’s all about doing the
best job and not forgiveness. That’s the gift we’ve been given in our church
and in our schools, is to also proclaim that very important other side of God’s
revelation. Not only the Law, which completely shows forth our sin as a mirror.
No matter how we clean it up or how we act on the outside, the heart from which
those words flow across those lips still is revealed as that which God says,
“Sinful from my mother’s birth,” my mother’s womb in other words.

But it is that gospel, that balm of forgiveness that
separates and differentiates what we do. In this evening’s Gospel reading you
heard Jesus address both murder and adultery and then a couple of other places
where words are very powerful, where words ought not to be said unless they are
meant and followed through with, then, not only that but the most difficult
part of all, giving out forgiveness to the people and giving out love to the
people who do not deserve forgiveness or love. That’s the challenge that bites
us in the rear each and every time. Because pagans and tax collectors, as we
see propagated in front of our very eyes, can love and forgive the people who
love and forgive them.

But what sets you apart as a baptized child of God is you
are markedly different. You are called by God, because of your own forgiveness,
to be so forgiving and loving of those who are your enemies so that that
bitterness does not grow. Bitterness can be manifested in many ways, but the
most common is, “I’m not hurt. It didn’t bother me. It’s okay.”
That’s still bitterness brewing. We ought to be more honest and just be angry
because then at least we can call it what it is. But no, our piety, we wish to
wrap it up in a beautiful package, but it still stinks of what is inside of
that package, bitterness.

When Jesus spoke in those words He referred to only one
fulfillment of those words…Himself. You heard it in Isaiah’s prophecy. The One
who bore our sins and transgressions, the One who made us forgiven and set
apart, was fulfilled by Him, who did not murder ever with words and never
forsook His spouse…you, the Church, His bride, but was faithful to you and to
me in spite of all of our running away and pouring after our own will and our
own desires and our own pride that’s been hurt or injured. So He has borne such
pain for us.

That’s the gift we have here gathered around the font as His
children. It’s our reentry point. We stand before that font, knowing full well
we are His children and knowing full well what kind of children we are and
needing to be reminded, because Satan doesn’t want us to be reminded of the
open arms of the Father who embraces you again.

This morning our Lenten worship was filled mostly with our
students in school. It was a little bit different sermon. Obviously none of
them are married, but many of them live with divorced parents. Many of them
live with loving family members who are divorced. And the instant thought in
their mind is, I must have done something wrong which is why they are now
. Jesus fulfilled that wrong and paid for it. And in the same way
it can be said of that child, “It was not your fault your mommy and daddy
divorced. They have to bear the consequences and confess, but with that confession
there is forgiveness.”

So it is with you. You have the opportunity to give balm and
healing to many people in your life whom you know suffer pains of memories, of
brokenness, of unfilled expectations, and things that we did not want to have
happen happened. It does not make you less, and it does not make us more. It
makes us both dependent and in need of what God has to offer in our re-adoption
as His children.

Children need to know Mommy and Daddy love them. Children
need to know they’re not going to be left and forsaken. You are that child. And
many times as you wrestle with the fifth and sixth commandment in your life, as
I do in mine, we wonder at times, and have to be comforted with that solace,
that our Husband will never leave us. And our heavenly Father will never
forsake us. We are His and shall always be by that grace that pulled us into
this place in the first place. Be comforted, oh brothers and sisters. And bring
that comfort to others that they would know the comfort with which you have
been comforted, that they might also comfort others as well.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.