Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sermon Preview--The Sixth Commandment

This week, the murder trial of Casey Anthony, a single mother accused of killing her two-year old daughter in 2008, ended in acquittal. Millions of Americans have been following the case on television and internet, and there was widespread public surprise at the verdict. I must confess that I have not followed this case closely. I don't really have an informed opinion on the subject, except that I believe people who watch The Nancy Grace Show for more than five cumulative minutes are in severe danger of losing their mental and spiritual health. But even that is just my opinion. I have no idea if Casey Anthony was guilty or not, or if not, why she behaved the way she did after the death of her daughter. I have no idea whether or not the prosecution overreached by shooting for the death penalty, or if they did a poor job presenting their evidence, or if the Anthony family's profound dysfunction is an explanation for the bizarre nature of this case.

Here is what I do know: The death of little Caylee Anthony is a profound tragedy that grieves the heart of the God who created her in His own image...and should grieve us all as well. I have heard many people question why this case garnered so much media attention. "Why do we focus on the death of one little girl, when thousands of children die every DAY in our world, many from preventable causes like too little food or drinking water?" They have a point. But we also need to remember that everyone of those children matters to God just as much as Caylee. As do the people who die in our current war in Afghanistan, including American troops, Afghan civilians, and even Taliban fighters. As do you. Each human life has an inherent value and dignity in God's eyes that you and I do not fully comprehend...if we did, it would radically change the way we live in innumerable ways. That's the message of the sixth commandment. It's not enough to simply not murder your enemy; In order to obey this command, you have to value each human life like God does.

I don't plan to speak about the Casey Anthony trial this Sunday--you've probably heard enough about that already. But I will talk about what it means to value life like the God who created life...and what difference it would make in our lives if we did. I hope you'll be there.

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