Sunday 14th Feb 2021, Late

Yes, this is late. There was a need to sort out a situation which required us to drive four hours yesterday and then six hours today. We got home, with the intention of watching country calendar, to have it taken over by a half hour press conference putting Auckland into Level III covid alert -- which is half lockdown -- and the rest of the country into level II -- which means church will be "locals" which you have to book into so we don't go over 100.

For three days, which does not make any sense. There were questions as to why the big gay out and the Waitangi celebrations happened if this was coming. The PM got into full tetchy testiculation mode.

Checked with the Aucklanders, who are going into this and they are OK. It's worth nothing that Trump was not impeached, but the lawyer he hired is being hounded, his home has been vandalized and his staff harassed, because he dared to offer a defense. Orange Man must be Bad, regardless of the ugly reality that the policy you propose will be applied to you. Adam, who is living and working in Europe (and the virus is there much more than the three cases in the community within NZ right now) notes that the panic is because we have lost faith,

In other words, the reaction to this crisis and the obvious fear of death that permeates our societies has made clear that we have turned away from God. Every religion has gone along with the lie. There have been very few cases of priests standing against their bishops and no examples of bishops standing against their cardinals. A hundred years’ ago during a real influenza, priests fearlessly inhabited hospitals to give comfort to the dying. Our priests today are just as afraid of death as the man on the street. They are irreligious while falsely inhabiting the trappings of religion.

That the vast majority of priests who are trained in theology are unable to recognise that this is a spiritual battle shows just how far the rot has gone.

So having dealt with reality, on what is supposed to be Valentines' day, let's look at the texts for this Sunday.

I have had to find another source of the text, because the church of Ireland links are not working as well right now. I guess they also have issues with lockdown. Things are slowly breaking down.

Last Sunday after the Epiphany(This Proper is always used on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.)

O God, who before the passion of thy only-begotten Son
didst reveal his glory upon the holy mount: Grant unto us
that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may
be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his
likeness from glory to glory; through the same Jesus Christ
our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Kings 2:1-12

2 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”

4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”

6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.

Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Mark 9:2-9

2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

It was a quiet night, and Kea took me onto the deck where we listened to the shags nesting in the trees and looked at the harbour. It was like a millpond. After the chaos of the last few days, we had peace.

And I thought the heavens do reflect the glory of God -- which is the psalm for the day.

Those who are of Christ can see the hand of God in nature and in circumstances. They can understand there is a spiritual battle. Do not listen to those who deny this.

They are blind, and do not see the pit in front of them