😭 A bit of a sad day. I got word yesterday late afternoon that one of my cousin's wife had just passed over. She was a person of deep faith, she'd been battling cancer for some times, gone in and out of what looked like remission, but then came back. She had for a number of years been a church secretary of a Church of God congregation about a half hour drive from here. No word as of yet with respect to arrangements. With her long standing issues, I suspect that Larry and Lucia had settled things in advance of the need. I've traded messages with one of his sisters and expect that she'll pass the word on. Have also let my middle brother know and my sister. Brother lives about 90 minutes from here, sister and her husband live a long way off in central Virginia, so I doubt they will be able to be present.
It does make the day a bit gray and dismal, thought I know that we shall see her again, in Heaven. But it is still hard, and one of their sons had passed on just a year ago. Tough times.
We're in the middle of what they call "winter events", which is Ohioese for "bunches of snow and no sign of a thaw any time soon". Well, sort of. Sub-freezing temperatures for the next week. But next Tuesday and Wednesday, the prediction is for temps approaching 50°. Followed on the Thursday by a "high" of 27°! Weird weather to be sure.
But we have left January behind us, are now in February. No, it's not immediate warm weather: anything but. Yet it is a benchmark and lets us know that we are getting a little bit closer to that time of the year.
Wife's sister "watched" the great-niece yesterday, the one who lives next door. Wife is determined to try to do it tomorrow. We shall see, I'd imagine that what it means is that I'll be drafted to help. Just the one. I keep recalling that the other one is scheduled to begin kindergarten this coming autumn. The one next door will have another year to go before that. And by then, the little boy that niece is carrying now will have been born and the cycle restarts. We're trying to be a good influence, but have not been able to persuade niece and her husband to begin to seek the Lord and His guidance. Wife's sister, and their mother, and primarily their grandmother, were stout atheists. Or pagans -- I know something about some of the connections that their grandmother had and they were anything but Christian. A burden on our hearts, surely. I guess that's part of the reason we are here.
The reading for the day from the Old Testament continues in the Exodus, with chapters 27 and 28.
These days, in too many nominally Christian assemblies, there is an "anything goes" attitude. And, yes, we have largely been freed from the Law. Which does NOT mean one is free to have other gods, to commit murder, or to violate any of the other commandments. Don't laugh, a friend was an usher and such in a church in central Alabama, near to one of those Indian casinos. Kept finding tokens from the nearby casino in the offering plate. I also knew, many MANY years ago, a young woman who sold illegal drugs. She believed that it was OK, since she tithed the profits into the offering plate at her church.
Here, the Lord is giving some quite detailed instructions for the priests that will be Aaron's descendants. Detailed. Not to be deviated from in the least bit.
The reading in the New Testament is verses 23-46 from chapter 21 of the Gospel of Matthew.
Jesus is in Jerusalem, in discussions with the priests and religious leaders. The ones who will be calling for His crucifixion in just a few days.