March 7, 2021

B15: The Third Sunday in Lent, Year B (2021)

Phillip Martin

Phillip Martin, pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia says he had to laugh at something his first-grade daughter said about rules in elementary school, where they reward good behavior by moving a clothespin up a rainbow (“clipping up”), and punish bad behavior by moving it down. “In second grade, the teacher won’t give you a warning,” she said, very matter-of-factly. “If you do something wrong, you just ‘clip down.'” “I guess second grade is where it starts to get real,” Martin thought to himself. In Exodus 20:1-17, God “gets real” with the Israelites by providing the Ten Commandments. However, the Israelites miss the point. They begin to see them as nothing more than a list of rules instead of “a gracious gift that describes and defines the life of a free people.”

Manuscript available: click HERE