I pray today Lord, for those who work in monotonous and repetitive jobs. Enable them to look forward to the just reward for their toil and never to lose sight of the part their labour contributes to the good of society. Help them to enjoy their leisure time and to find hobbies that are creative and meaningful. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.
Lord, I pray for the world of industrial relations today. I ask that workers and management will endeavour to find common ground and understand each others’ difficulties and problems. Help them to negotiate with integrity and good faith. Enable workers to grow in maturity as they fulfil their duties. I ask this in Jesus’ name – AMEN.
Lord, help me always to live beneath the cross of Jesus. Whether in sunshine or in cloud let me see life in terms of Christ Jesus alone. When everyone is expressing scepticism, let me think only of the cross. When the powers of evil are doing their worst and the human race seems doomed show me the cross. And Jesus. In his name I ask it – AMEN
“I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery”.
Ex 20:2 NIV
The Ten Commandments are guidance that God expected each and every individual Israelite to obey. But “the ‘you’ whom God first addressed in Exodus 20 was Israel corporately, the nation -family that he had redeemed. And what God was teaching was his will not only for individual Israelites, but also for Israel’s community life.
This too is truth for us, because it is truth for humanity as such. God made us to live in societies – family, church, body politic, the communities of business and culture – and the Commandments show God’s social ideal as well as his purpose for individuals. Indeed, the furthering of good order in society was seen by some as the first use of the law.
What is God’s ideal? A God-fearing community, marked by common worship (commandments 1, 2, 3) and an accepted rhythm of work and rest (commandment 4) plus an unqualified respect for marriage and the family (commandments 5, 7), for property and owner’s rights (commandments 8,10) for human life and each person’s claim on our protection (commandment 6), and for truth and honesty in all relationships (commandment 9).
God’s concern for communities must not be thought of as second to his concern for individuals, for in him the two concerns are organically one. This is clear from the way in which the Old Testament repeatedly sums up his promise, which was Israel’s hope, in one treasure-chest word, shalom. Shalom, translated ‘peace’, proves when unpacked to mean not just freedom from war and trouble, sin and irreligion, but also justice, prosperity, good fellowship, health and all-round communal well-being under God’s gracious hand (J.I. Packer, Keeping the Ten Commandments, p118).
Lord, improve and strengthen our community life.
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