Been an "interesting" few days.
Periodically, I am sermonized on the theme of "family is the most important thing". Well, it's important, to be sure. But it has its moments. See, for example, Adam re Cain and Abel. Abraham re Isaac and Esau. David re Absalom. Need more examples?
Last week, Dear Wife, her sister, and Niece, my sister-in-law's daughter (from next door) determined to have a Family Yard Sale. To be held at the place that sister-in-law lives with her husband on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday just behind us. Yours Truly was "volunteered" to haul stuff from here to there (about a 12 mile trip) and to spend Thursday "setting up". And then to haul Dear Wife over on Friday morning. By Friday evening when I retrieved her, I was hearing accounts of nasty squabble between Niece and her mom, not the first by far. Friday night later, sis-in-law let us know that Niece and her husband and daughter would not be there Saturday morning as they were doing a family thing in the last few days before giving birth and the Great-Niece would no longer be an only child. Fine. Then, Saturday morning first thing, sis-in-law called to let us know she could handle things herself and Wife could recover from being there all day Friday. By noon, we got a call to come get our stuff, the Yard Sale was over. Lots of long-standing intra-family issues playing into that. So I got to spend the rest of Friday packing our stuff back up. Wife had sold a whole $2.00 of stuff (I don't know what). Much tension. Niece and her husband and daughter made an appearance and I helped pack up their stuff as well. Some of sis-in-law's "friends" showed up, some of the ones she and husband had spent Friday night drinking with at some low-rent bar. Fun.
NOT exactly the stuff of Hallmark Channel family episodes, to say the least.
We came home, I unpacked stuff, we had a warmed-up meal, mostly what we'd been just sitting down to eat when the "get the stuff" call came through. In bed by11:30, just worn out.
The "stuff" of too many lives, I've seen far too much of this in ways most can't imagine.
Sunday should be better. More in next episode.
But it could be worse. Today's reading from the Old Testament is chapters 34, 35, and 36 of 2nd Chronicles. This is the End. The number of good kings was down to the last one, and the number of evil kings continued.
By the way, note that the two great prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, had been carrying out their very difficult ministries during the years and decades before the collapse. Probably Isaiah at least was killed upon the orders of one of the evil kings.
Death and misery and mass slaughter, a terrible thing we can barely imagine. Deserved, yes, but terrible for all of that.
And yet .......... read the last few verses. Judgment fell, as was long foretold. All hope seemed gone. And then, Cyrus, the king of the Persian Empire which had conquered the Babylonian Empire which had conquered Judah, said, "It's time to go home". SEVENTY years after the fall.
The Lord is pretty good at bringing unexpected blessing after terrible situations. Some of us have reason to know that to be true. And He hasn't forgotten how to do it either.
II Chronicles 35
II Chronicles 36
The reading for the day in the New Testament is verses 1-22 from chapter 19 in the Gospel of John.