Less than a week of February remaining, cause for celebration in itself.
Wife's condition seems to have stabilized. She was able to eat a bit yesterday, a little bit at least. Doesn't sound like much, but she really hadn't eaten in a couple days: half of one slice of buttered toast doesn't come to much, does it? And perhaps a second such in the evening.
Yesterday, she woke around 8:30 -- 9:00 or so. After getting her situated, she thought she could eat something, so I made a skillet-sized mess of cornbread. She ate the wedge I gave her, drank it down with some cranberry juice (helps to prevent her chronic kidney and UTI issues). And took her "morning" antibiotic. Then snoozed a bit. Around noon, wanted some tomato soup, which I made, and requested --but could not eat -- a second piece of cornbread, and could only manage half a small bowl of soup and a pickle. And took her "regular" round of morning meds, just over a dozen pills. Then back to bed, she slept for more than four hours. (I ate her chunk of cornbread, why waste it?).
The sleep is good for her, cheap medicine, and for days she'd been too miserable to really sleep much. So we'll think of it as progress and give thanks for it.
She had a relatively good night, slept hard and long, which is a good sign, and sounds a bit better this morning. I made her some coffee, served a chunk of warm cornbread, and got her some cranberry juice to use for taking meds. Perhaps we're seeing some improvement. Some.
Of course, yesterday evening, I blew my nose and about fell over. Hope I've not caught it now.
Spent some time during the night in thought / prayer / meditation (yes, I'm weird and the mind works weirdly as well. Quelle surprise!, right?
I believe in reading the Bible. I think, and have some various experiences, that teach me that starting the day with seeking the Lord and reading His word, helps to at least start us, or me, out in the right frame of mind. I earnestly believe this.
Yet I know as well that all too often, we ( meaning me too) glide over these passages without disturbing the surface. We ( me) should be hungry for the Word, eager or desperate for the Lord. Should be. Yet, all too often, and I include myself, we're not eating and drinking it like we are hungry and thirsty, "as the deer panteth for the water" thirsty. We're snacking and window shopping.
I know full well that some of these passages, and the ones in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are examples, are full of references to obscure (to us) people with weird-sounding names in a far-away land a long time ago, doing things that just aren't "relevant" (how I HATE that word!) to us. The precise order of worship, prescribed size and shape of golden lamps and the preparation of the oil to fill them, the dealing with persons suffering odd diseases, and many others, all seem odd to us. I understand that. Certainly, much of this was of primary import for those people. Yet it has some meaning for us. I don't understand all of that. But consider some of those commands. The preparation of the oil for the lamps, for example. That's olive oil. They were in the desert! Olive groves are unlikely to be found there, so while this would include oil acquired in trade while in the Exodus journey, it would also necessarily include setting up a system once the Promised Land was theirs. Likewise, the requirements for washing of the person, including the priests, and the sacrifices. Again, they were in the desert! Not many faucets and water systems there, then or now. Yet the requirement is there. So I read this as a promise that the Lord would ensure that the water was there, but they must seek it and dedicate the required amount to these purposes. And that this required attitude must carry over when in the settled life in the Promised Land.
See what I mean? We don't, mostly, use oil lamps in our worship services these days, nor do we sacrifice animals on an altar with or without washing. But we do -- and must -- treat our worship of the Lord as a special, important thing, Something that demands our attention and respect. Not just an optional item on the calendar for when it's convenient.
That's just an example.
At the time of Christ, and even into fairly recent history, NO ONE, probably, would have a personally owned Bible. Even if he or she could read it, which is also a pretty recent development (subject for another time). The first Gutenberg Bible came out around 1455, which sounds like a long time ago to those who think 1999 is "the old days". And it was in Vulgate Latin, something only a few scholars and churchmen (and not all of them) could understand. The King James translation into the English of the time, came out in 1611, and that was highly controversial. Even then, it was expensive and most people, the "common people" particularly, could not read it.
Now? They cost relatively little money, and one can easily access the Bible on-line for free.
Yet I know, and most do, of those who have one, or several, and it is only hauled out, mostly for show, on Sunday morning. Preventing the message from the intended purpose, 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We avoid that at our peril.
The reading in the Old Testament today is chapters 8, 9, and 10 of Numbers.
I realize that most of this sounds far removed from today's world, and in many ways it is.
But note that the Lord had -- and still has, I believe -- a role for everyone. This person, and, often, his descendants had this specific role. Another person, a different role. No one, NO ONE, was an afterthought, a mere "extra". Nor are you. Nor am I.
Now, yes, we don't live in tents in the wilderness, en route to the Promised Land, waiting for the trumpet call to strike camp and move out, following the cloud. The parallel is not exact. But we are living in these bodies, these temporary dwellings, en route to the Promise. Waiting to move out or to move on, or, perhaps, to remain in place but watchful, and waiting for that trumpet signal.
And you note the reference to the Passover. That event is still celebrated today, all around the world. It corresponds closely with Easter. It is an annual feast, of course, but it is also celebrated in many Christian assemblies far more often. Some, twice per year as was the case in the church in which I gre up. Others, once per month as is the case for our gathering. Others, weekly at least. It is good to remember all that the Lord has done for us personally, and for those who have gone before. And that includes fellow believers all around the world.
The New Testament portion is verses 1-20 in chapter 5 of the Gospel of Mark.
This is a remarkable passage. Jesus went to a place that did not expect him, over to where "those people" lived. Foreign and hostile. And met a man who needed Him desperately, in terrible straits. And healed him.
Did the people around rejoice? Not at all, they wanted Him gone: he'd upset their arrangements.
And the healed man? He wanted to follow Jesus, to come along. Jesus instead, sent him on a mission: "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.". He did, and the record reveals that that man's words fell on fertile soil and were part of the growth of the early church. All because Jesus went somewhere outside of the comfort zone.
That's our mission as well. " tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.". Go and do likewise.