Happy Monday! he said, shamefacedly, knowing that for others it isn't. Monday has never been my favorite part of the week.
It is gray, and rainy and dreary outside the hovel. But it is about 50 degrees, well above the freezing point. Weathercasters pointed out that the last two years, it was snowing on this date. So 50 and gray is not too bad. Of course, beginning around Friday, we enter a cooling period, with night time lows at or below the 32 degree freezing point. Next Sunday is the official mark of the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring. With a "high" predicted of 44, a low of 31, and snowfall in the forecast. Not quite the sunshine, flowers, warm breezes, etc. that the work "spring" evokes. Except around here. Now, Thursday the 17th is St. Patrick's Day, which in these parts is too often marked with the annual "St. Patrick's Blizzard". They're predicting 56 degrees for that day, so perhaps we'll avoid it this year. On the other hand, there is an old local "joke". Guy calls the local TV weathercaster and says, "remember that forecast from two days ago? Well I just shoveled 9 inches of "partly cloudy" off the sidewalk!". Not always a joke: the air masses coming down from Canada across the Great Lakes an hour north of here, give rise to some weird and awful weather. Reminds you of why the vast majority of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the US-Canada border.
Dear Wife is next door "watching" the Beloved Great Niece. We had to be out and about on Saturday so as to attend the party for beloved Great Nephew as he turns 9. Wife spent yesterday recuperating. Tomorrow, we leave early to go vote in the primary election, then race for the medical center for a bone density scan for her. Not fun, but probably should have been done quite a while back. Took half a year for the insurance to authorize payment for the procedure. Such is our life these days.
And I had to make a run to the hardware store this morning. One of the things acquired a few years ago was one of those 1-cup coffee makers. I was using the entire contents of a 4-cup brewer, between the thermos of coffee I took with me to work when at outside customers that I had to service, and the mug(s) of coffee that I drank while getting ready and while in transit. Left none for her, sometimes not quite enough for me, and making another pot would have been wasteful. So she bought a Keurig, though we either use the (MUCH less expensive) 3rd party pods or the refillable pods. I had to change the internal filter in it last week, and we've sprung a leak. Apparently an O-ring got lost along the way, and the thing started to leak. So yours truly just went down to the local hardware, was treated quite well, spent a whole 74 cents, and am about to reassemble everything and try it. And then do more laundry, etc. : I do all the laundry and dishes and vacuuming around here. Poorly, probably, but I do it.
The Old Testament assignment for the day continues in Deuteronomy, chapters 23, 24, and 25
He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:
Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.
Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.
Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.
Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.
The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.
When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.
If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:
But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.
Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:
And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:
He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.
There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:
Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.
That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.
When thou comest into thy neighbor's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.
When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing corn.
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;
Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge.
If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you.
Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.
Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt.
When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge.
Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee.
And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge:
In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the LORD thy God.
Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge:
But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.
When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:
Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.
Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
The New Testament reading is verses 51-72 in Mark chapter 14.
This is pretty tough - this is Jesus before the Sanhedrin, and Peter denies Him. I know in my heart that Peter replayed that awful night many times in his mind. But he was by no means the last person to deny Christ, not at all.
And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
But neither so did their witness agree together.
And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:
And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.
But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.
And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.