Pondering for Friday, January 8, 2021

Daily Office Readings for January 8, Epiphany: Year 1

AM Psalms 117 and 118; PM Psalms 112 and 113:
Isaiah 59:15 to 21Revelation 2:8 to 17John 4:46 to 54

“According to their deeds, so will he repay; wrath to his adversaries, requital to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render requital.” (Isaiah 59: 18)

The word requital means to repay in kind or to pay back somebody for what they have done, good or bad. But vengeance belongs to God.

I have heard in my military days that fore-warned is fore-armed. This leads to what I call “consequential” behavior.  That is, doing or not doing, deeds based on what the payback will be.

To this requital proposition I will remember the phrase from a Christmas song, “so, be good for goodness sake.”  We just need to treat people the way we want to be treated.  And, do not treat anybody in ways we do not want to be treated.  So, let me share with you the tale of “teaching the Torah while standing on one foot.”

So here is what I have borrowed from the Web at ON ONE FOOT – Valley Beth Shalom (vbs.org)

“First, he came to the sage, Shammai and he makes his request, “Teach me the Torah, Rabbi, as I stand upon one foot.” The Talmud teaches that Shammai picked up a builders rule, a piece of a two by four, and smacks him along side of the head, and the man left him. Then he came to Hillel and made the request, “Teach me the Torah as I stand on one foot.” So Hillel taught him: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary. Zil u’gemar, now, go and learn it.”

I think this is the Gospel lesson as well. Following these lessons will keep us out of any requital issues that might come our way as divine repayment for any troubles we might have caused others. Go and learn it.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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