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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 65

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From the Word: Whoever spills a person’s blood, his blood shall be poured out by another, for God made humankind in his own image. (Genesis 9:6)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together: Human life is precious to the Lord. It does not matter whether that life is another’s life or one’s own, whether that life is nascent or full-formed. It is life; and it is life in God’s image. As such, God cherishes it, and it is to be treasured by all humankind. God is in relationship with human life, even that which is yet in the womb (Jer 1:5), for that is part of what it means to be created in God’s image. Being created in his image means that you are related to him.

God is relational, even in eternity. Before the creation, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit loved one another, else God could not be love (1 John 4:8). True love requires an object. Great love always loves more and more. So it is, that marriage seeks more than one another, and leads to children. The initial love of another is amplified in the love of others who bear their image. We bear the image of God, and are deeply loved by him. This is why he commands us to love not only God but neighbor as well. In loving our neighbor who bears God’s image, we love and honor God. We dare not murder our neighbor, for it is the same as striving to kill God. 

Prayer: Give me such grace, Lord, that I value all life. Amen.

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