My new book got its start as a Wednesday night class I taught at church a few years ago. I remember meeting with a dozen or more people for 13 weeks from 7:00 to 8:30 PM looking at one commandment each week. I remember some of the looks I saw on their faces as we would wrap up. They hadn’t expected a review of the Ten Commandments to surprise them. Everyone thought they already knew them.
I hadn’t expected to find what I did, either. And writing out the book from my old notes this year stirred up new surprises for me. I tend to think this simple list is, well, simple. I am surprised at how deeply they connect and how profoundly they can shape our lives.
Because they are not just for individual blessing. God delivered them to His people as a whole. The commandments are meant to make the whole Kingdom of God work as He intended. Obeying them is the way to holy joy.
The year I taught the course, our church was building a new addition with more classrooms. While that work went forward, we squeezed into even less space than usual. My Wednesday night class moved into one of the youth meeting rooms (and I don’t remember where the kids ended up). This room had a much more casual feeling than the usual classroom. I liked it. We all slouched down on couches and relaxed. Perhaps that also opened our spirits to the unexpectedly serious subjects we set before us: murder, adultery, false witnessing.
There were other classes meeting at the same time and people had to choose. I had folks apologizing to me for not enrolling in my class, but telling me they would sign up “the next time I taught it.”
That time never came and, as of now, it does not appear it will ever come. Instead, I have gathered the material and published it. Now it is in the Lord’s hands. I am pleased to think that people may still be stirred and challenged by what I learned, for years to come. May it be so, Lord, for Your honor and glory.