Yesterday was a very very tough day. A funeral, a service for the recently deceased wife of a cousin of mine. He is a year younger than I, she was about six years younger, and they'd been married for 35 years. A long time. I was able to spend just a few moments with him, and a bit more with his sisters, (it was a pretty good sized brood, three sons and, I believe, five daughters), and the son of the deceased. I'd not seen some of them in more than 30 years, and a few of the others only in the moments available for such things when my own parents died and we'd made the 19-hour-long drive to the area for that. We caught up, briefly, on some things. Got to see a few others who aren't in the extended family, but who I had known as a child. LOONG time ago.
I didn't stay for the whole thing, Wife has not been doing well and I didn't want to leave her along for too long. It was a 25 mile drive each way, mostly on freeways, but still more than half an hour. She'd had a bad night and a bad few days.
One thing that they did was nice, they made a video of the proceedings, including about 15 minutes of photographs of her at various points in her life. She had touched many lives, many. I guess her room was ready. We shall see her again, and she is now free from the pain of her long illnesses.
Our passage for today from the Old Testament is chapters 34, 35, and 36 of the Exodus.
The last two, 35 and 36 have to do with the construction and furnishing of the Tabernacle
Chapter 34 gets into some "stuff". That includes the Lord's commandment to DISCRIMINATE. I know that word gives some people hives. Tough. The Lord Almighty did not, and does not, flinch from calling out evil, including vile and evil cultures and belief systems. So, no, your personal belief and whims, or those of anyone else, are NOT worthy if they are contrary to His commandments. That should make all of us careful at the very least, and, likewise, hesitate to form alliances with evildoers and to elevate preachers of evil to equality with the truth. And I've seen it. Like in the "pulpit-sharing" programs between nominally Christian groups, and Muslims. It's wrong, and condemned, as wrong as alliances with and dalliance among the followers of Ba'al, Molech, Asherah, Dagon, and Set. Yet done to this day: we just saw Moslems in an Anglican church in England, and have seen cases at least as bad here in this country. The Lord condemns being yoked with evil. Then or now. All cultures, religions, and beliefs are NOT equally worthy and valid. He said so.
There is much more here, and I urge careful consideration of all of it. It is truly said that there are no really new sins, just embellishments on old ones. The ones they -- and now we -- winked at, came back to harm them, and the same is happening today.
Our day's reading in the New Testament is Matthew 23, verses 1-22. Again, this is Jesus, in Jerusalem, in the last few days before the Crucifixion. An intense time.