Scripture: Exodus 20:1–21
Key verse: (7) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Reflection: What does it mean to wear a jersey? My high school varsity soccer coach would remind us that when we put on the colors of our school and when we wear the crest of the soccer program, we represent something bigger than ourselves. We were reminded that we are playing for something bigger. We must respect the colors and the crest — on and off the field. What jersey do you wear?
I believe this is how we can think about the third commandment. This commandment goes beyond speech; it is our living that is of concern. In the context of the larger narrative, the giving of the commandments can be understood as providing the people with a sense of purpose and identity. Here is where we find God’s intention for the now freed people, detailing the covenant from chapter 19 that they will be a “priestly nation and holy kingdom.” The third commandment details our living after we have taken the Lord’s name (Christian) as our own.
When we claim to be Christian, professing our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we take on the holy name. We wear the jersey of Christ. We must respect the colors of grace and forgiveness and love. We are called to respect the crest of the cross, reminding us we are living for something bigger than ourselves. To make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God would be to act against love, to make a mockery of grace, and to serve self over others. As Christians, we wear the jersey of Christ, in all we do. May we do our best each and every day.
Prayer: God, who drapes us in love and grace, the one who calls us to proclaim your glory in word and deed: we give you thanks and praise. May we be humble servants in your name and for the sake of your name. We pray in the name our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].