Faith Voices: A Commitment to Preserve and Enhance Life – Pastor Daniel Smith

“You shall not murder.
What does this mean?
We are to fear and love God, so that we neither endanger nor harm the lives of our neighbors, but instead help and support them in all of life’s needs.”

– Luther’s Small Catechism

I am not a constitutional scholar. Chances are, neither are you. And yet, for some reason, whenever our children lie dead in their classrooms or on the street we so quickly begin to debate the second amendment. We parse out words like militia and consider the purpose of that extra comma. Supreme Court Justices can’t agree on the meaning of that amendment, but we think our jumping into the fray will provide some light.

I am a faith leader. Chances are, so are you. And, like me, you may have an investment in the Commandments. An investment, I dare say, that is greater than the one we have in the Amendments. In reflecting on the commandment not to murder, Martin Luther invites us to imagine God’s call more expansively. He invites us to resist the common temptation of wondering what sorts of killing are technically not in violation of the law, but instead how we might preserve and enhance life.

As a faith leader, as a person of faith, as a person – I ought to be more committed to an expansive reading of the commandment than an expansive reading of the amendment. May our communities, our nation, and our world be so committed, too.

– Pastor Daniel Smith
Ascension Lutheran Church
Colorado Springs Faith Leaders Table

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