Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nothing New

The long, long history of current events.

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun
. Ecclesiastes 1:9

O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done! 

 King Solomon proclaimed there is nothing new under the sun. Shakespeare agreed. If these two great men saw the modern world, they might recant. But neither meant to say the world was not locked in forward motion, ever changing, progressing. There is no other way to go. Yet while the human race invents and conquers, the human soul lurches forward and stumbles back. Over and over. We are enlightened. We are ignorant. We accept. We deny. We love. We hate. We submit. We will not be refused. We find our center, our purpose. We do not know who we are. There is nothing new.

I looked to current events to validate the matter, and it happened that the morning I began my search, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all states. For some, it is a national victory. For others, a step away from progress and toward the crumbling of the constitution. And of America.

But the legal ramifications and societal implications are nothing new. It’s all been brought up before by liberals and conservatives. By the religious and anti-religious. The family units clinging to tradition, and the alternative others demanding their rights. Here’s a short excerpt from a piece written by Roman satirist Juvenal sometime around AD 90:

"I must go down-town tomorrow 
First thing: a special engagement."
"What's happening?"
"Need you ask? 
I'm going to a wedding. Old So-and-so's got his boyfriend 
To the altar at last...." 

Juvenal was not an opinionated Christian standing up for the good folks in the Bible belt. He had no reason to follow God’s plan for marriage as upheld in Scripture. He was just a smart-mouthed, staunch Roman who saw his government letting go its hold on the fundamentals. And he wrote about it with sarcasm and disrespect.

Today’s news is as old as the human heart. The same-sex couples at the altar break no new ground. The voice of disapproval has spoken before. The government might lose its mooring from the foundation. And perhaps it will crumble and become a page in history. There is nothing new under the sun.

But…the sun will not burn forever. And the heart will not circle in this present darkness for all eternity.

And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5




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