The 7th Commandment: You shall not steal.

Luther’s Small Catechism
What does this mean? We are to fear and love God, so that we neither take our neighbors’ money or property nor acquire them by using shoddy merchandise or crooked deals or scheming, or pretending to have right to them, but instead always them keep what his, and help them to improve and protect their property and income.

God’s Word:

If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate. (Exodus 22:26-27)

If all 7.3 billion people of the planet consumed like Americans, we would need the resources of six planets to sustain us (according to averages at — try the game!) Using or abusing in this way, how are we stealing the planet’s resources—and from whom?

1. What is something you think you need that you could really do without? Take the money you could have spent on that item and donate it a charity for folks in need. For example, go without your favorite latte or sports drink today, and donate $ to the food bank. Instead of purchasing another pair of shoes, give a new pair of shoes to kids in need, etc.
2. Could any of your neighbors use some help taking care of their yard or property? Wash their car, etc. Offer to help.
3. Do an online search for “environmental refugees” and learn about how climate change will cause millions of people to be without food, water, or homes.

In October 2017, Lutherans mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the occasion of Martin Luther writing his 95 Theses. As a church that is “always reforming,” we know that the good news of God continues to encounter us in our life. We are invited to look at classic Lutheran teachings in new ways. These daily summer devotions look at Luther’s Small Catechism through the Lens of Ecology & the Earth. Pastor Molly edited and adapted them from the website