Back into more "normal" NE Ohio weather. If there truly is such a thing. Today's "high" is predicted to be all of +24° while they're predicting 48° by Tuesday next. And 22° two days thereafter, for two days. See what I mean?.
I keep reminding myself that, as confirmed by "Punxsutawney Phil", we have six more weeks of Winter. Of course, yestertday was "Groundhog Day", and the first day of Spring is, in fact, in six weeks per the astronomers. Much can happen between now and then, much. But we continue to gain more than two minutes of "day" every 24 hours,
But we're into February, which places us a lot closer to Spring than was the case in December, so we'll take it (not that there is a great deal of choice in the matter). And I remind myself of the job interview five years ago in Charlevoix, Michigan, which is a good bit colder than this. Job would have paid a LOT more than what I was then making, and -- on paper -- better arrangements all around. But the weather was an issue, as were the politics of the area. Too close to Canada and suffering the drag of Detroit.
All of which is less significant than the funeral I am preparing to attend. Wife wants to go, but just is not up to it. From all accounts, the deceased touched MANY lives, and for the better: there has been quite an outpouring of tributes from those whose lives she had touched. Better by far than I have done. She was my cousin's wife, and I have had a number of communications from his sisters. Several of whom I had not really had real contact with, in more than 35 years. Not planned, just the way our various lives diverged. But at times like this, we take a look at our priorities, and how the year and trials have shaped us. The Lord knew all this long before the earth was formed.
So this will be a tough day. Just about my first real memory as a child was of a funeral for my dad's sister. One of them: the other passed during our exile and I wasn't even informed of it. But I do remember being a 4-year-old and seeing her before her passing and at the funeral. That has also shaped me.
Larry and Lucia had several kids, one of them had passed just last year, but all of them grown up. Their kids have kids. so the line continues. Not an ideal circumstance for a family reunion, but it is what it is.
The reading from the Old Testament is chapters 21, 22, and 23 of the Exodus.
Chapter 21 is along the lines of the last few chapters, the Lord giving some detailed instructions to Moses. He felt it important, the Hebrews should have as well. But, evidently, like people everywhere and throughout history, decided that they knew better. Which leads into the other two chapters. Having seen the Lord's provision and power, and make a whole bunch of promises, they decided to regress. They decided to pick new leaders and new objects of worship. Not good. Real bad. And there were consequences. Serious ones.
Note the body count. Three thousand dead.
Mark the page, and then go look at Acts 2:38-42. Then 2nd Corinthians 3:4-6. "The law killeth, but the Spirit giveth life".
3,000 killed. And 3,000 saved. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Our reading in the New Testament is verses 23-46 from chapter 22 of the Gospel of Matthew. More high intensity teaching from Jesus in the last few days before the Crucifixion. Keep that in mind. He knew it. They didn't. We do as well. Keep that in mind as well. This is for OUR benefit as well.
Note how His responses slammed them where it hurts: on their knowledge of, and adherence to, the Scriptures. His responses were right out of the Torah, the Writings, the Prophets. He called out their failures of application of them, and that was a heavy slam: such knowledge was, after all, the root of their claims to power and superiority.