March 7, 2021 – Lent , 3rd Sunday (Year B)
●● Exodus 20:1-17 ●● Psalm 19 ●● 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 ●● + John 2:13-25 ●●
Title: God’s Top Ten.
[__01__] God’s Top 10 are the 10 Commandments.
There are Top 10 lists for just about everything. There are lists of the top 10 most viral videos on the internet, the top 10 best songs or movies… there are even lists of the best top 10 lists.
For many years, there was a television and late night comedian David Letterman and one of his frequent comedy bits was to do a top 10 list.
In April 2008, because Pope Benedict was visiting NYC … Letterman imagined the Top 10 things that people said on the streets of NYC when the Pope from Rome visited which included the following:
1. From NYPD officer: “Sir, when did you realize your Popemobile was missing”
2. In a coffee shop, the person at the cash register says…”I don’t care who he is. He can wait for his cappuccino like everyone else.”
3. In Madison Square Garden arena: Wanna perform a miracle? Help the NY Knicks win a basketball game…
[__02__] This is just a reminder that top 10 lists summarize the world, they structure the world for us.
They bring things into focus for us. Also, the number 10 is symbolic, not just symbolic in sports such as soccer or basketball, but symbolic in the Bible.
[__03__] It is a reminder that in the symbolism of the Bible, 10 represents perfection and power. We also rate or evaluate or rank people and things on a scale of 1 to 10.
And, in the Bible 10 signifies perfection, not just in the 10 Commandments. There were also 10 plagues in Egypt, representing God’s power.
The thing is – with a top 10 list… we are waiting for who’s or what’s going to be number one, what is numero uno on that list.
In the 10 Commandments, the person of God is number 1: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery, you shall have no other gods besides me.”
So, reminding us that all the other commandments relate that 1 commandment.
And, that our following of the Commandments makes God known – public – to others.
 [__04__] Anybody remember the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” from the 1980’s with Indiana Jones.
In the movie, there was a search for the ark of the 10 Commandments. In the adventure movie, Nazi Germany was trying to capture the ark of the covenant because they had heard it had magical powers and that it would make them invincible, they would go “undefeated.”
Indiana Jones has to rescue the ark to prevent this from happening.
At the end of the movie, Indiana Jones brings the ark of the covenant back to the Pentagon or Washington D.C. and he asks to see the ark. They tell him …no, it is now a government operation and a research project, and “government property”
And, in the final scene, we see the ark all boxed up in a government warehouse or crated up like inventory at an AMZN warehouse and stored among countless other crates.
But, for us, the 10 Commandments are not just any other Top 10 list, or any other “box”
Following the Commandments brings us into relationship with God as our heavenly father.
So, on a top 10 list, we are always waiting for who or what is going to be number 1.
Following the Commandments is always about a language we speak and practice toward others. We follow Commandment # 1 – we love God - by loving others. We also love others because they were created by God. We have the same Father.
I’d like to give 2 examples, because the Commandments give us a personal reason why we do what we do.
We love God and we love others.
We practice in other ways.
Let’s say you are a child and we are all children in some ways and we are all children of our parents.
And, as a child, were you ever asked, or are you still asked to do something because your mother or father wants you to do so, or to get along with somebody that you did not like.
And, you did it simply out of respect for your mother or father.
Or, even today, do you or I not carry out certain ways of living out of respect for my mother/father/parents, because of the example.
That’s an example – analogy – of why we love others, because they are loved by God, also our father.
In a similar way, whenever we deal with someone who has a child, we praise the child and love the child, not because the child is our responsibility but because we love the person who is caring for the child.
So, we show our love for the parent by loving the child among us.
The 10 Commandments remind us that God is our heavenly father that he is # 1.
[__07__] The Commandments are a top 10 list in which we are called recognize that # 2 through # 9 are all connected with the # 1. Who is God. Who is love, who wishes to memorize this list, to do whatever we have to do to memorize it, save it on your phone, put on your refrigerator, on your mirror, above your desk. There are at least 10 places to keep them…. …or in the ancient language of Moses:
Lay up these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them for a sign on your hands, and place them between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 11:18)[__END__]