Good Order in Life

Saturday, January 25
Exodus 21:1—22:24

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

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What must have been the previous mistreatment of others such that these various laws were designed to put some measure of justice into life! We might have come a long way from what is outlined here for a society over three thousand years ago, yet there is something we can miss so easily⎯the ordering of life has its initiative from the Lord.

Jesus said to his disciples at the Last Supper, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12). There has been and will continue to be a development, a refinement of how God wants us to respond to one another.

Reflect upon how you treat others. Seek the justice and mercy that God wants to express to others through your very own life.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Blessed are the merciful. Mt 5:7
The pure in heart shall see God. Mt 5:8
Peacemakers: children of God Mt 5:9
Blest those suff’ring for justice Mt 5:10

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for the version for children and families.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
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near the International Date Line.

4 thoughts on “Good Order in Life

  1. Thanks, Bosco, for bringing the root meaning of obedience to our attention.

    The prefix “ob,” “up against,” is like someone eavesdropping on a conversation in another room. The person places their ear up against the wall.

    Apart from the feeling of impropriety of such behavior, the action does suggest what is important in listening to God.

    Absolute attention.

    2) Bringing the ear of the heart right up against the spiritual place where I can best hear God. The still, small voice that Elijah heard caught his attention, rather than the noises and commotion without… Listen to true feelings that lie beneath the outer ones. For example, in our society, anger is the emotion that is very often expressed, while sadness and fear are the ones within we need to listen to.

    What do feelings have to do with listening to God? Ignatius Loyola spoke about an inner “sentir” a feeling beyond a feeling, right to the sense at the core of experience. His teaching in The Spiritual Exercises on discernment of spirits expands on this idea.

    As the G-dCast delightfully points out, there is power in writing. The process of writing brings to the attention ideas, feelings and thoughts that might never come out, were it not for the process of writing. I find this borne out again and again in my life–right up the present in this very comment I’m writing. Thus, writing becomes listening.

    A final note. In The Bible Through the Seasons, I follow the three-year lectionary from the Conservative tradition. Each of the Torah portions are divided into thirds. When I was preparing the readings for the program, I was delighted to find that Part I of this system, basically is our Year A in the Revised Common Lectionary!

    Shabbat Shalom!


  2. Thanks, Nick. Please could you expand on what you mean “Part I of this system, basically is our Year A in the Revised Common Lectionary!” and copy that to your comment on my site also, where I ask this question.


  3. As you may know, Bosco, the cycle of Torah readings ends and begins on Simchat Torah, “The Joy of the Torah.” There is a tradition of dancing with the Torah scroll during the night. This festival occurs at the end of Tabernacles in autumn.

    In January,1996 which I began this project, and learned about the three-year cycle in the Conservative tradition, I discovered that on Simchat Torah of that year, the 2nd part of the cycle began. On December 1, 1996, Year B began for 1997.

    Thus, I discovered that the Torah cycles were basically in sync with The Revised Common Lectionary. Just as the cycle letter of the year begins a month earlier in Advent, so the autumn before the First Sunday in Advent begins the part of the cycle that corresponds for the letter year in the Lectionary for the following January. There was indeed joy in the Torah when I discovered that!

    I explain something of this process on page 371 of The Bible Through the Seasons where I reference a work that was a great help in planning for the incorporation of all the Torah passages. It is The Comprehensive Hebrew Calendar by Arthur Spier(Feldheim Publishers, New York, 1986). The Hebrew Calendar with all the holidays and Sabbath Torah readings are placed side-by-side the civil calendar from 1900 to 2100. I checked my birthday in 1942 and found out that I was born at 11:45 pm the night of Simchat Torah. More Joy!


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