We have been having wonderful ministry on the Ten Commandments, basing our study on Jen Wilkins' book, ‘Ten Words To Live By’.
I used to enjoy teaching this lesson. I would tell the children that there was a special one for them, and that because Jesus knows it is hard for them to always obey their parents, just as it was for him when he had wanted to stay in the temple in Jerusalem, he has given them a special promise, that if they would respect their parents, that it would be well with them and they would live a long time on the earth.. As a ninety year old I think I am having a share in this promise.
I would also tell them about the commandment that is very special to me, the last one – ‘Do not covet.’ I told them how miserable I was as a little girl because I was jealous of my clever and pretty big sister, until Jesus showed me that jealousy was sin and that he had died that we might be forgiven. What a joy to be able to tell the children that we are each one loved and special and that we don’t ever have to be jealous of anyone.I have learned so much through teaching the children. I used to tell them that it is hard to learn all the commandments, and we know the Jews added on lots more, but when Jesus was asked which was the most important he simplified it to two. Here I would hold up a heart-shaped card. On one half was ‘Love God,’ and on the other ‘Love your neighbour,’ and so we learn that it is all about love.
But now my work in the schools is finished it is my turn to be taught as one of God’s children. I know I wasn’t the only one to think that some of these commandments had no application to my life, but I find that the Holy Spirit is doing some searching, convicting and convincing me too of how great is God’s love for his children, longing for us to be in a closer, deeper relationship with our Saviour.
He wants us to learn that every one of his commandments are about love and every one of them need to be applied to each of our lives, that we might always be found rejoicing in that wonderful relationship of love with our God.
I know it is not good enough to blame all our troubles on Adam and Eve, or should I say Eve, who first tasted of the forbidden fruit and then Adam, but we can look back to that sad story and the reason why God has given us these guide lines which are his fence to save us from throwing ourselves over the cliff of destruction.
Oh the glory of that morning
Walking naked, unashamed
God’s own glory as our covering
Joyful, sharing, unafraid
Clothed in skins of his dear creatures
Shame now excludes us from that bower
Lost our joy in glad communion
Pain and sorrow follow now
Lost the glory of that garden
‘Gainst thorns and briars must we toil
Bringing children forth in labour
Relationships by sin now spoiled.
Had we but trusted Him who made us
For his pleasure and his joy
Why did we listen to Satan’s whispers
And taste the fruit that must destroy?
Yet Christ is come to vanquish Satan
Joy of Paradise restore
Come now, taste the fruit he offers,
Joy and peace for evermore.