Woke to a nice toasty ZERO degrees outside. It's a little bit warmer than that inside, but the margin isn't so great as I'd like. Doors frozen shut too. I messaged the pastor and let him know we're staying home today. By afternoon, when temps are "up" into the mid-teens, I may venture outside. But perhaps not, it depends. Wife was up and down during the night, finally got up around 04:20, after the cats woke me to beg breakfast, and got into the recliner under blankets. That lasted about an hour, then she came back to bed. Which lasted about an hour. Then back to the recliner again, there to snooze, as she still is. With a truly dreadful TV show playing, perhaps it bored her to sleep, it would me.
Weather casters say we might make it "up" to +17 degrees today, 36 tomorrow, 38 Tuesday. Could hit 51 by Friday! Not tropical, but much better in comparison.
There was another of those TV political debates last night in South Carolina. I didn't watch even a second of it. Nor will I watch the next cage match between Hillary and Bernie, and for the same reason. Too many lilliputians running loose in our world, and that's the nicest word I can use. A large proportion of these people are lower on my scale of estimation than cow plop. Cow plop at least has its uses. Some of these would-be world leaders don't make even that standard.
The Old Testament reading is chapters 18 and 19 of Leviticus.
When I was much younger, and reading these verses, my reaction was on the order of "YUCK! Who would ever do such awful things?" But now, we hear of such things rather frequently, and there are large public groups dedicated to forcing the rest of us to actually approve and celebrate such bad behaviors. Some of them in churches, including in leadership roles at that. And other things listed, I see advertisements for on TV, in the newspapers and magazines, and hear radio ads.
This will not turn out well.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.
The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.
The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.
The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.
The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister: she is thy father's near kinswoman.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister: for she is thy mother's near kinswoman.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.
Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.
Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbor's wife, to defile thyself with her.
And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.
It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.
And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.
Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor; I am the LORD.
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.
And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.
And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.
And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal.
And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.
Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.
Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.
Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.
Today's New Testament reading is verses 32-66 of the 27th chapter in the Gospel of Matthew.
Pretty grim, and it must have been for all those present.
This is the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus. But that is not the end of the story.
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
And sitting down they watched him there;
And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.
When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.