March 5, 2017
(excerpted from free indeed: devotions for Lent 2017, Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis)
The Fifth Commandment:
You shall not murder.
What is this? or What does this mean?
We are to fear and love God, so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbours, but instead help and support them in all of life's needs.
A family operates differently when in the midst of a crisis. It may be hard to act lovingly and have good communication when a child is engaging in a behaviour that irritates, worries, frightens, or harms other family members. However, even in the midst of living with special needs, healthy relationships can flourish when intention is present to foster those relationships.
- Lorna Bradley, Special Needs Parenting
Help and support:
"I love Luther's explanation of the fifth commandment. It's so broad! It's great."
"What's so great about it?"
"Well, everyone thinks it's the easy one, right? 'No murder.' Check!
But, Luther expands it to include anything we might do that would endanger or harm someone's life. No one gets through life without doing that."
I was about to go on and explain that even this law exists to remind us of our need for God's grace - when I remembered that I was talking to a combat veteran, a man who struggled with his role and actions as a soldier, a person who never once thought of the fifth commandment was easy.
"In fact," I said, "I think I may have broken the fifth commandment just now."
He shook his head. "No harm done," he said.
God, we give thanks for your grace in a world where harm is real, and where sometimes we are the ones who harm others. Fill us with your love so that our relationships with others and with you might be healthy and loving. Amen.