This will be a tough day, or at least a tough afternoon. We'll be heading out shortly, an hour or so, and driving halfway across the county to attend a memorial service for an old friend of Dear Wife. She'd died in her sleep nearly a month ago, but they had to delay everything until today. There have been so many sudden deaths from drugs in this area, the devil's mixture of heroin and fentanyl and Lord knows what, that the coroner, terribly overworked, had to do a post-mortem. Turned out she'd been overcome by very high sugar levels, she being a diabetic of long standing.
She was a believer, which makes quite a difference (see below), but it is still hard to lose loved ones, as some of us have had reason to know. As the guy told me when my mom passed, "you'll see her again", it is a comfort but still hard.
So we'll traipse over to the Assembly of God meeting house and be with the family.
I got word over social media that one of my once-upon-a-time bosses at my last employer had died. He'd left, voluntarily or not I do not know, while I was still there, after a relatively short stint in the most hostile work environment I've ever known. His wife posted last night on the same social media that, yes, Steve had died Monday of a sudden heart attack. No, there were to be no services -- he was not a believer though I think she has some inclinations in that way (I never met her). His wishes -- per her -- were for no services, no fuss, do a cremation and go home. Which has probably happened already. They were living about 900 miles from here, so I couldn't have gone anyway. But the contrast between the two circumstances is striking. And tragic. Steve left wife, at least one daughter, at least one grand-daughter. And we will NOT see him again. Yes, it makes a difference.
Death is all around us. Some pretty close calls too. Natural causes, of course. Violence of various sorts, sure. And war "of course". But also from bad behaviors like addictive drugs. I saw a report just yesterday of a child, nine years old I believe, having to make the 9-1-1 call because the younger child, still essentially an infant, had ceased breathing. Overdose. First responders had to administer Narcan to a BABY, then transport to hospital, where a 2nd dose was administered, and the baby was then able to breathe. The mother? Ran away when police appeared. Father? Surely you jest! The word "father" is nearly as rare as "husband" in too many places. The word "babydaddy" is more often heard. Marks of a dying and decaying culture. When you reject the Lord, all sorts of bad things are going to happen.
Which dovetails all too well with our Old Testament reading today. Chapters 10, 11, and 12 of 2nd Chronicles. With Solomon out of the way, the new king, Rehoboam, is running things his way. And things get bad, fast. The Lord removed His hand of protection, and here come the enemy armies. And internal factions as well. And idolatry and all the rest. Sounds like what I see in the local news.
II Chronicles 11
II Chronicles 12
The New Testament reading is verses 18-38 in chapter 13 of the Gospel of John.
More of the Last Supper.