The Congregation at Duke University Chapel


photo of Andrew

What if we read the Ten Commandments as a love letter?

This coming Sunday, we’ll hear the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, read in worship once again. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be quick to think “oh, I know this one!” and allow your mind to wander to other things.

Young adults at Duke Chapel have been reading through the book Manna and Mercy together, and the author’s paraphrase of the 10 Commandments invited us to look at these famous verses in a new light. Since Manna and Mercy is a comic book, I’ve included the image below.
Manna and Mercy portrays the giving of the Law as a gift to the people of Israel, and to us—a gift the demonstrates God’s passionate love for a stubborn, selfish people eager to return to the slavery of Egypt even after God has brought freedom and promised to be Israel’s partner forever.

During this season of Lent in which we are called to reflect on our lives, repent of our sin, and run deeper into the heart of God, I invite you to think of God’s commandments less as rules to be followed and more as a way of life with a God to be joyfully embraced.

The Ten Commandments, like all of Scripture, redirect our attention from what often passes for our “real lives” to the most real part of life—the life we have in the God who brought Israel out of Egypt and became incarnate in Jesus Christ.

When we hear them read again this Sunday, may the Ten Commandments be for us not a source of shame or obligation, but a loving call to deeper life in the Triune God.