this is one of those days of the year that I am very quiet. This is sometimes referred to as Holy Saturday, the day before Good Friday and Easter. It is on this day that we recall Jesus crucified and in a borrowed tomb. I can only imagine the mind of the disciples, friends, and family of Jesus. All seemed lost. If you've ever been at a wake, you may have an idea of the mood. Not a time for parties and gaiety.
Dear Wife is still not recovered from her weekly dose of chemo, complicated this week by the change to her medicines as ordered by the rheumatologist that she saw this week. Before that time, she swallowed eighteen (18) pills every day. Now it is twenty (20). In the long run, the additions, particularly the one, will be of help. But there is a period of acclimation. Meanwhile, we're awaiting the approval from the insurance people for two others, one of which is pretty pricy, more than I could cover out of pocket. Just can't. Still waiting for them to give her a schedule for an MRI on her shoulder and the one knee. She's in constant and awful pain in the shoulder, likely has a torn rotator cuff in addition to the arthritis. The knee is probably going to require a rebuild, part of the undoing of a major procedure done back around 1997, a procedure that is no longer performed anywhere since the results on her and others were so uniformly bad.
Got word from on of my nephews, one of my brother's sons. He's been recalled to active duty in the Navy, and has just gotten married. Again. He'd been married once before, wife took off, leaving him with a young daughter. Being a single dad is hard enough, doing it when on active duty in the military is a lot harder, especially in the Navy. He managed to wangle shore duty for a long time, but at some point you have to "float". Then he met the new wife. She was already married to someone else, though was definitely separated. They got together somehow, and somehow she got pregnant. I think I know what causes that. He went on reserve status, got RIF'd rather than getting the E-7 promotion he was due, so they set up housekeeping and started process for her divorce. Then he got recalled to active duty, so they moved, him, her (pregnant), his daughter, here three kids. Had the baby, so place is getting full. Her divorce just came through, so a week later they went to courthouse and got married. His active tour ends this fall, and they're moving back to the area about 30 miles from here, and are planning a wedding ceremony. A bit odd, but it does allow a family get-together and also an expectation of wedding pre$ent$. We'll probably go, since I've never met her and I've seen very little of him just out of the various movements we've all gone through over the last 30-odd years. As my brother's current wife has largely read us out of the family, it may be a tense time.
Wife's family, meaning her sis and husband, plus her two kids, their spouses and kids, and us, are having a get-together tomorrow for the day. They're none of them involved in the things of the Lord, sis-in-law, like her late mother, is an open and angry atheist. So they'd planned an 11:00 a.m. start. I told them fine, but we'll be delayed until after church services. Much frowning at that, but I prevailed. Still hoping to get a change in this, but we shall see.
Old Testament passage is chapters 27, 28, 29 of 1st Samuel. David and Saul are completely at odds. Chapter 28 has a section in it that reflects how far Saul has fallen. He's facing the enemy, and the Lord will not answer his prayers. Saul, now without the deceased Samuel, seeks out what we refer to as the Witch of Endor. Who somehow conjures up the spirit of Samuel, who gives Saul some bad news. He's about to die in the battle.
And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.
And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.
And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?
Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.
And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.
And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.
And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.
And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.
And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.
And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.
And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.
And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever.
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.
And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?
And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David:
Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.
Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way.
But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed.
And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof:
And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.
Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.
And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rearward with Achish.
Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day?
And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?
Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favor thee not.
Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.
And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.
Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.
So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
The New Testament reading is verses 1-19 in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of Luke.
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.