We have a convergence of emphases today. One of those is the emphasis on Ending Child Homelessness. The Coalition of Religious Communities has asked congregations all over Utah to include this important cause in our worship today. You can see and hear this emphasis in some of our prayers and hymns. Our Sunday School children are making a poster today about this cause, and I hope a number of you will be going with me to the state capitol on Thursday to present our concerns to the governor and legislators. No child should have to live without a safe and stable home.
As you can see from the special offering envelope in your bulletin, another emphasis today is our Human Relations Day offering. Every January, on a Sunday close to Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, United Methodist churches all around the country collect these extra offerings for our work against racism and poverty and for the improvement of human relations.
These two emphases go well with our two commandments for today. At the beginning of this new year, we started a sermon series on the Ten Commandments. We’ve been covering two of them each week. On January 7, we summed up commandments one and two by saying that we should “worship God first and only.” Last Sunday, we reminded ourselves not to “make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God,” and to “remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.” Those important ways to “practice holy living” now lead us on to commandments five and six.
The way I see today’s pair is like this: “Honor your father and mother” is the tall goalpost at one end of a football field, “You shall not murder” is the goalpost at the other end, and every other kind of human relationship and interaction gets played out on the big field somewhere in between. As we contemplate “Honor your father and your mother” and “You shall not murder,” let’s see how these divine goalposts can help us “respect other people.”