Rough day, and got worse. I got word from a friend of more than 40 years' duration recently that his daughter, quite ill, had entered into hospice care. Subsequent information was that she was fading. This evening, I got the word we'd feared, that she'd entered into Eternity.
It's very rough to have to bury your children. I'd known both parents, even before they knew each others, knew them when the met and married, and, sadly, when they divorced and remarried. With a baby daughter caught up in that. The baby daughter, now more than 30 years old, never married, and has now passed.
Arrangements have not been made known to me. Under the circumstances, I imagine something has been planned, but am not aware of it, yet.
So this will be a tough week. Situations like this sometimes bring out the best in people, sometimes it brings out the worst. I've no idea what to expect.
So I will be distracted, as I have been for the last few weeks.
The Old Testament reading is Psalms 41, 42, and 43
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.
All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.
An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.
For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.
Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
The New Testament reading is chapter 24 of the Acts.
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.
And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence,
We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words.
For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,
Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him.
And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so.
Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself:
Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings.
Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me.
Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.