That was fun.
Oh, don't get me wrong. There were a couple good things that happened. Alex settled into the next season of life and found that she is quite the academic, after all. Luke graduated from high school and has eagerly embraced college and adulthood. The family stayed healthy and safe. We celebrated twenty-four years of marriage. Those were some reasons for rejoicing.
But that was not, unfortunately, the predominant tenor of 2012.
For me personally, it was the year of living dangerously. I tried to champion liberty. I did everything one woman with a facebook account and a blog could do to derail the Romney/Ryan campaign. And I upset not a few friends. I watched a good man, a statesman, get railroaded by 'my' party. I watched good, strong Christians cave to pragmatism (and the atheism that it signifies). I debated the role of the State and the role of the Church with anyone who would listen.
In August, my suspicion that there was something rotten in DC was confirmed when the Mafia rode into Tampa Bay riding a herd of elephants. John 'Don Corleone' Boehner led the way in a shameless game of corruption when he made the delegates an offer they couldn't refuse.
They couldn't refuse it.
Because posters with (other names) were ripped from their hands.
Because he rammed down a convention rule-change in which the vote was scripted on the teleprompter,
Despite the 'nays' from the floor.
Then August turned to September, and suddenly the pressure was on people like me to 'play nice.' By that, of course, they meant I was expected to vote for their man.
(and I said this to a man's face, so I've got no qualms about saying it here)...
If you ever thought that this girl would go quietly,
If you ever thought that this girl would take her cues from the Wide Path...
you would be utterly mistaken.
Yes, 2012 was a year of head-banging, chin-dropping, face-palming frustration for our household. Where have all the good men gone? Not to DC, that's for sure.
And, as if the state of the State was not bad enough, not corrupt enough, just take a gander at what the campaign season did to the state of the Church.
Enter Billy Graham.
Reverend Billy Graham.
Evangelist Reverend Billy Graham.
Behold the doctrinal pretzel Mr. Graham twisted himself into as he declared that we should no longer call mormonism a cult.
Thanks, Mr. Syncretism. Thanks for cheapening the Gospel, the blood that bought you, the Truth. With shepherds like you, who needs wolves? If I were you, Reverend, I'd make haste to the Cross to beg forgiveness of the Savior you betrayed.
More head-banging. More chin-dropping. More face-palming.
And the day after election? What was the Church doing that day? If my facebook account is any indicator, American Christians were full of declarations that God is still in control and Jesus was still the King. Truly, I lost count of how many times people comforted themselves with those proclamations.
As if you wouldn't need that reminder if your candidate had won...
As if I wouldn't need that reminder if my candidate had won...
But my friend Keri reminded me that Jesus IS still king. And she was right. He is the sovereign monarch over all of His creation. There is not one part of all His creation over which He is not Lord. So, perhaps I've all been lamenting the wrong thing when I ask where the good men have gone.
There is only One who is good.
And the government shall be upon His shoulder.
Yes, we're supposed to take dominion. Yes, we should be concerned about bringing goodness to the jurisdictions of family, church, and government in this fallen world. Yes, we should exercise our right to vote and assemble and petition the government and speak freely. Frankly, if we don't correctly view them as responsibilities first, then we can forget securing them as rights.
But this life is a vapor. And this American experiment shall pass away. This Constitutional democratic republic shall pass away. But the Word of God shall stand forever.
Jesus is the King. No, we can't say America has ever covenanted with Him as king (though I'm afraid that's what many people meant the day after the election). But He is king. He's an absolute ruler. He doesn't need our vote or our covenant or our approval to exercise His rule.
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
In the end, proud knees will be forced to the ground; the iron fist of the absolute King will make it so.
Humble knees will bend in willing submission; the scarred hands of the absolute King will receive them.
And we will all know then what He knows now:
The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of the Lord and of His Christ.
It's not that it doesn't matter what happens in government right now. It does. It absolutely does. But it's good to be reminded that elections do not ever change God's plan. Regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office, or at the head of any State, for that matter, King Jesus is on His throne.
And He shall reign forever and ever.
Some people grasp that earlier than others. George Freiderich Handel was certainly one of them, and in the wake of 2012 politics, I'm glad he did. Handel's magnum opus, Messiah, is really a Bible study about God's promise of redemption and His plan for the Savior. Written in 1741, it still remains immensely loved today. And the climax of the oratorio is The Hallelujah Chorus, a declaration of the supreme Lordship and Kingship of Jesus.
When Messiah is performed today, the audience still stands during the Hallelujah Chorus. Curious, that despite the increasing darkness of our world, men still recognize a tradition which brings them to their feet when the truth of Jesus' reign is being proclaimed in the chorus.
But one day, none of us will be able to stand.
King of Kings.
Lord of Lords.
And He shall reign forever and ever.
Carmel Conversations 2012 Song of the Year:
"The Hallelujah Chorus"
(and the tenors totally kick it at the end of this rendition!)