Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Eighth Commandment

"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

In my opinion, the best explanation of the Eighth Commandment is a children's book called Flying Feathers.  It's a Slav folk tale, retold by Mary Kentra Ericsson, and once upon a time published by Concordia Publishing House.  They should bring it back!  Until they do, I am happy to lend you mine.  Parents will learn just as much as children.  Confirmation students should read it too.

In the story, a girl named Nika overhears women gossiping about a neighborhood boy.  Later Nika spreads the gossip.  Nika's grandmother knows she does not understand the harm she has done.  So she sends Nika up a hill and tells her to release all the feathers from a pillow.  Then Nika is told to go back again and collect all the feathers.  She finds that gossip is like flying feathers - once loose they can't be gathered again.  She learns to pray for strength when she is tempted to gossip.

Flying Feathers - available from your pastor.  Because one of the things most certain to weaken a congregation is gossip.

Our job is to bear true witness about Christ and His love, and not to bear false witness against each other.

Let us teach this vital lesson to our children - and learn it ourselves.