Long day and short shrift here.
As mentioned elsewhere, we lived FAR out of this area for many, many years, and were -- both of us -- somewhat reclusive and/or heavily occupied with making a living even when we did live here before. One result of that was, naturally, that some of the social contact stuff that most people treasure didn't happen. We were up here about 5 years ago and she got to go to a high school class reunion, the first in 35 years. She decided, rather late in the cycle, to go to the 40th, which was today. So we put some stuff together and made a 40-minute drive though farm country, tiny towns, and a couple "wide place in the road with a name sign" settlements en route to The Great Event. She'd made contact with two or three, so our presence wasn't a total shock. But there were quite a few she'd not seen since graduation day in 1976, A lot of catching up. I sat quietly and tried to avoid being an issue. She had a good time, we left around 6:30 or so, and she's about done in.
(By the way, I went to a different school in a different county, and we have NEVER had a class reunion).
The Old Testament reading is chapters 23, 24, and 25 of the book of Job.
Then Job answered and said,
Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.
For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:
Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.
Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?
Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.
They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge.
They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.
Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.
They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.
They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.
They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.
They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.
They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry;
Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.
Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.
They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.
The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.
The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face.
In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.
For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.
He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned.
The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.
He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.
He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.
Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways.
They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.
And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?
Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.
Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?
How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?
The New Testament reading is in Acts chapter 10, verses 24-48
And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.